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.
Sorry but no matter the cosmetics, it is still a man. A castrated man.
Just damn!! Do these people have larva eating their brains?
A name change does not void a marriage, nor does sexual mutilation. It as real a marriage as ever, even if they are wierd.
I told you guys around six months ago that if 'intersex' and 'transgender' issues were not address before you enacted these 'anti-homosexual marriage' state amendments that these issues were going to come back to bite you in the but.
But none of you wanted to listen.
I wonder when the GLBT organization is going to use AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) intersex people, in federal court, as a basis to throw 'anti-homosexual marriage' state amendments.
You got the logic for DSM IV reversed, those standards there to make sure the person legally sane (calm minded, non-violent, non-split personality, not bi-polar) before they can go forward with hormones, let alone surgery.
Mis-assigned or purposely re-assigned? It would seem to me that it is relatively easy to determine the genetic gender of a baby.
If the parents decide with the doctor's help to turn their son into a girl because they're afraid of the ribbing he will get with a small or deformed penis then that's shameful and should be illegal. Likewise for girl's born with male-looking genitalia.
I would consider sex re-assignment by one person against another, especially in the case of a controlling adult against a defenseless child, as a form of battery on the level of torture and mutilation no matter what the intentions.
With the recent advances in plastic surgery and a culture that is very willing to practice on younger and younger clients (e.g. breast enlargements for teens) the vast majority of these oddball cases should be eliminated.
"If the parents decide with the doctor's help to turn their son into a girl because they're afraid of the ribbing he will get with a small or deformed penis then that's shameful and should be illegal. Likewise for girl's born with male-looking genitalia."
The current medical thinking on treating infants, with ambiguous genitalia, is to wait until the child can tell their parents and physicians which gender they are. There have been a number of cases, where the decision was made at birth, where the wrong assignment was made. It was not for the reason of concern the child would be ribbed over their genitals, it was more of thinking the parents had to be able to think of the child as one definite gender.
I am personally in favor of a longer definition along the lines of "A valid marriage requires one person to be born male and remain male throughout the marriage while the other person must be born female and remain female throughout the marriage. If either or both undergo sex reassignment during the marriage then the marriage becomes null and void."
I believe that the Constitution is a very good place for defining the basic terms that underly our form of government and the minimal definitions needed to guide the society as a whole so as to be governable through a constitution. If we are going to take the time to define marriage in the constitution, or through the less effective forum of congressional legislation, then we should take the time to make it crystal clear.
After all, the tax code requires reams and reams of paper to describe in order to close all of the loopholes average citizens might be able to take advantage of while keeping all of the lobbyists' loopholes open wide enough to fly Lear Jets through.
And if the doctors are so concerned, then why not require genetic testing in doubtful cases and correctly inform the parents of their child's sex? At that point the parents could work with their child's given gender rather than against it.
Also since it is the majority belief that homosexuality is wrong, I believe that it is the responsibility of all people to make it clear what true gender they are before engaging in intimate relations.
If a teenager is attracted to another Christian teen and has been misinformed about his/her gender, then how can he/she represent him/herself correctly to a prospective suitor?
Of course in the future we will all be wearing unisex lycra jumpsuits and gender will be the least of our worries as people start dating intelligent octopi from the plant Zorkol!
That just it, because the laws are so vague that intersex people can be banned from marrying anyone this is how these amendments will be attacked.
Of course, I believe the government should have NO say on marriage one way or another when dealing with adults; it opens up too many doors for abuses of powers to have it any other way.
And with fake boobs, and pumped full of female whore moans so he acts/thinks/talks/looks like a female. Aside from the fact that while "his" face is still a bit manly, a few more years of whore moans should clear that right up. Then he will be a man who doesn't have a penis, look like a man, talk like a man, act like a man, think like a man, or do anything else like a man, except be missing the tail in one Chromosome.
But I guess this is a bit complicated for you. After all God ::snicker:: created man and woman ::snicker:: in His image ::snicker:: and so there's only two genders with nothing in between.
Applying the Bible to real life can be tricky. But when you side with the Bible against what is obvious in front of your face, how else can we describe that except as a mental illness? Some people just aren't cut out for reality, I guess. But you know, there are ways to avoid it that are less unpleasant for the rest of us (for instance: marijuana abuse)