Skip to comments.Sex change thrust couple into same-sex marriage debate (Barf alert)
Posted on 01/23/2005 8:52:09 PM PST by Cracker72
Photo by The Associated Press
CONCORD - Judi Howden found happiness in her second marriage, but only after a struggle with issues that have destroyed other families and divided the nation.
With Michael Howden, she had love, another child and a home. It took all three to keep the family together as Michael became Mikayla.
They married nearly four years ago. Mikayla changed her name in 2003 and underwent a sex change in September. The act transformed them into a legally married same-sex couple, despite a ban on such unions in 40 states, including New Hampshire.
Whether or not society will acknowledge our marriage, I think, is my biggest fear, Judi Howden said. That someday, someone may pass legislation that says, Because you are now two females, you are no longer married. For anyone to say that they have the right to break up a family, I dont think is right.
Judi Howden said her mind initially slammed shut when she learned the man she was dating intended to become a woman. But thinking about separation ultimately proved even more difficult.
There was so strong of a connection for Mikayla and I, she said. I never knew that there was such a relationship out there in the world.
The couples experience highlights a legal Catch-22. States can either recognize or refuse to recognize someones new gender after a sex change. Either decision inescapably permits some form of same-sex marriage.
Recognition lets existing, heterosexual marriages like the Howdens become same-sex. Denying recognition permits new same-sex marriages - like one between Judi and Mikayla if they were to marry today - because the spouses genders differ only on paper, not visibly.
I have no answer to it, said state Rep. Dan Itse, R-Fremont, who supports the states same-sex marriage ban. We have ventured where angels fear to tread.
Apart from Mikayla Howdens gender change, her familys Concord home is like many across middle America. There are prayers at meal times. One parent works while the other stays home with the kids. There are childrens toys in every room.
But for Mikayla Howden, who likened her prior condition to a birth defect, treating a medical problem created a series of legal ones. She does not yet know if the government will recognize her as legally female, and fears the effects same-sex marriage laws could have on her family.
According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights in California, four states dont permit gender updates: Tennessee, Ohio, Kansas and Texas. About half of the remaining states do. A firm policy hasnt been legally well established in the remaining states, including New Hampshire, said Shannon Minter, the centers legal director.
The federal government must decide if Mikayla Howden, a U.S. citizen born overseas, can update her birth certificate. It hasnt yet ruled, and Minter said the Bush administration has not been as accommodating as earlier administrations.
The Howdens marriage clearly was legal when it began, and same-sex marriage bans cannot automatically invalidate it, Minter said, just as states dont automatically annul marriages for adultery or abuse.
But at least one conservative group would like to change that. The Rev. Louis Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition in Washington, D.C., said marriages like the Howdens should be dissolved.
Absolutely, he said. We dont want the roof to leak in any place. We must make sure that marriage is protected.
Sheldons coalition, a lobby claiming more than 43,000 member churches, is crafting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions. The Howdens, he said, have slipped through a legal loophole.
Social conservatives often portray same-sex marriage as a moral issue, Mikayla Howden said. But she called changing her gender a life-and-death decision, not a lifestyle choice. Living as a man was fundamentally wrong, she said, and nearly led her to suicide.
What are you going to pick? You certainly hope for the point of wanting to pick life, she said. So many of us, because of society, choose death.
Transsexuals are not the only people who have sex-change operations. Surgery also is used to treat intersex conditions such as improperly formed genitalia.
Updating birth certificates is not the only legal challenge facing transsexuals.
State gay-marriage bans complicate such core activities as buying and inheriting property together or collecting insurance.
In 1999, a Texas appeals court upheld a ruling against a transsexual who became a woman and married a man. The court ruled the marriage an invalid union of two men, denying the transsexual money from a wrongful death settlement after her husband died.
Cases in Florida and Illinois are addressing whether transsexuals who have become men are legally fathers of children who were born through artificial insemination or adopted into their families while they were married.
In California, a transsexual who became a woman is challenging a ruling that denied her husband citizenship because she was born male, Minter said.
The human consequences are really painful, she said.
For the Howdens, other difficulties arise daily. Mikayla Howden said she struggles with whether America is living up to its legacy of freedom while gays, lesbians and transsexuals face systematic legal discrimination. Sexuality, she said, shouldnt be part of the governments decisions.
Judi Howden said she struggles with being labeled a lesbian - one day accepting it, but resisting any label the next.
Its not this seedy little thing going on, she said. Were normal, everyday people.
They said the responsibilities of home and raising a family - a child of their own and two from Judi Howdens previous marriage - have helped them through tough emotional times. So has open, honest communication.
It isnt always easy, but its the most important, even when it comes to your fears, Judi Howden said. Because when you hold those fears inside, it doubles them.
BOTH are mentally ill. The gender-confused one AND the woman that married it anyway.
The big shame is that there are CHILDREN involved in this mess - my only real objection to same-sex marriages in the first place.
not one but both I think
They're both mentally ill, but in Concord who would notice?
Technically, one of them is still XX, and one is still XY.
Seems to me Michael doesn't exist anymore, and so Michael's marriage is over. Void. Non-existent.
Modernism at work.
A real life Pandora's Box.
Michael is still a guy, just with his dick cut off. He must have know that he had this "issue" before he got married, so it was a dirty trick to get married.
Wait... The one on the right used to be the he?
How little self esteem would you have to have, to stay with a spouse who tries to match your "plumbing"? It seems like the ultimate betrayal of the fundamental rules of the relationship.
If one of them grafted a tail onto their bodies, would that make this an interspecial marriage?
Surgical impersonation does not change the essence of what God has made.
I must pray hard for two who are so lost and ignorant of the damage they do to all the living.
The author of the article is lying. The state of florida has decided the issue. In divorce courts, they go by DNA. Born male is male no matter what the mutilation.
There is no controversy or loophole. If the birth certificate is changed then the law is clear. If the birth certificate is not changed then the law is clear. The DL does not change, the passport does not change.
Of course if they try and have it both ways then the law is also clear on perpetratig a fraud. In fact INS is very clear on these types of cases for perpetratig frauds.
The problem is: How do you define a man and how do you define a woman?
Chromosome counts? Then, what about intersexes?
Women, with androgen insensitivity syndrome, are assigned as girls at birth and grow up believing they are female. At puberty, they are amenstrual and they are discovered to be XY. Are they to be told they are to now be considered men, and can only marry another woman? Or worse, being told they are an 'it'?
What about girls with Turner's syndrome, female but with only one X chromosome, instead of being XX?
What about children with severe genital abnormalities? There are a significant number that were mis-assigned at birth. Some were assigned as females, because it was easier to give them a female genital appearance than male functionality. Likewise, some 'XX' babies with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), were so masculinized in their genital structure, that everyone believed they were actually boys.
How do we deal with with these cases?
IF THEY LIVE TO PUBERTY, since most don't, the issue is very very very doubtful to come up beyond mere hypotheticals.
This fool here is subject to a mental disease which even the faaaar left APA has included in their DSM IV. They treate the SYMPTOMS of the illness by mutilation.
seems like both conspired to perpetrate a fraud.