Texas GOP Aims to Squash Transgender Marriage Rights

Gov. Perry: I never meant to grant them
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2011 11:43 AM CDT
Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – In 2009 Texas became one of the last states to allow transgendered people to marry by allowing them to obtain a marriage license if they showed proof of their sex change—but now GOP lawmakers want to roll back that law. Some Republicans say they are simply trying to clear up an apparent discrepancy between the Texas constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman; the aforementioned 2009 law; and a 1999 state appeals court decision stating that, with regard to marriage, gender is assigned at birth and remains with a person regardless of a sex change.

A spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry claims the sex change provision was sneaked onto the 2009 legislation and that the governor never intended to allow such a thing, the AP reports. "The governor has always believed and advocated that marriage is between a man and a woman," and wants to "clarify the unintended consequences" of the 2009 law, his rep says. Clerks are "confused" about balancing the 2009 law with the 1999 court ruling, he adds. But transgender advocates say the proposal, which is awaiting approval by the state Senate and has not yet been heard by the House, is discriminatory and could lead to current marriages being nullified. Says one attorney, "It appears the goal is to try to enshrine a really horrifying ruling and making it law in the state of Texas."

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