Saturday, October 15, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage Takes Place in Texas Thanks to Republican Loophole

Megan Stabler legally married another woman
in Texas, as result of Republican regulations.
In a column published 4/26/11, Storey Institute president James Peron wrote that Republicans in Texas were passing a law "that would refuse to recognize sex change operations for transgendered people when it comes to marriage, without thinking through how it may actually legalize same-sex marriages for some."

If a person has a sex-change operation the courts issue a ruling that the individual is now legally considered a member of the sex to which they were reassigned. But Republicans passed a law saying that county clerks "would be prohibited from recognizing" those court orders. Republicans said they had to do this because sex changes confused the clerks. The April column, however, noted that the confusion would be greater because of the new regulations. It said that two women can walk in and be told they are not eligible to marry because they are both the same gender.  But then they hand over a document indicating that one was transgendered and had a sex change operation and "inform the clerk that under Texas law she has to ignore the evidence of her senses and assume that the woman standing in front of her is actually a man."

Fanciful? Hyperbole? Nope, history. It just happened as predicted. Meghan Stabler is transgendered and she was able to marry another woman in Texas. What she couldn't do is marry a man.

The law was passed because Nikki Araguz, a transgendered woman, had been married to Thomas Araguz, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Araguz's family then brought a law suit claiming all of Araguz's estate claiming that the marriage was illegal because Nikki had been born male. To side with the plundering relatives Republicans passed the law.

As our column in April noted, the law would have made a marriage between a straight, transgendered woman and a man, illegal. But a marriage between a transgendered women who was lesbian, and another woman, would be legal. And, the absurdity was that Republicans claimed the law would make things less confusing.

Back in April we wrote:

There is an iron law of state bureaucratic interference that indicates that legislation they pursue has consequences entirely unintended by the central planners. This Republican legislation would allow gay couples to marry, provided one of them is transgendered, while forbidding straight couples to marry, if one of them is transgendered. And this, they think, makes matters less confusing.

That has now been proven correct. A woman married a woman in Texas because the law requires the county clerks to ignore her sexual reassignment and treat her as man. (By the way, would this require that such a woman be placed in a man's prison if convicted of a crime? Has anyone in Texas thought of what that would mean? Do any Republicans care?) You can read the original column, written before the law passed, here.

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