How can we remarry after a dual gender transition?
December 9, 2011 11:28 AM Subscribe
My spouse and I got married when I was still legally designated "female" and she was still legally designated "male," under our old names. How can we legally remarry, using our new names and identified genders, after gender transitioning? We don't want to get divorced (it's expensive and we love eachother) to do it.
posted by DrMew to human relations (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A little background: yes, were has both already begun the transition process when we married, but transitions take a long time. Why do we care what our marriage certificate says? Well, we care for personal reasons, but also, it's surprising how often this document becomes relevant, and it misidentifies us.
A complicating factor is that some states let you get a marriage license by showing your driver's license, but some states require you to show your birth certificates. And while I have been able to change my sex on my birth certificate, she's not going to be able to do this, because the state in which she was born requires a court order based upon testimony from a surgeon who performed genital reconstructive surgery on the petitioner (a "sex change" to the "new" sex). As an intersex person who had nonconsensual genital reconstructive surgery performed on her as a child that has left her with unfortunate consequences (such as the loss of a large part of her capacity for sensation), she does not want additional genital surgery. And no, there's no procedure for an intersex person to go to court (assuming they could afford it) to say "the doctors picked the wrong sex for me" and have their birth certificates changed. In any case, this means that we can't remarry in our home state, which bases the issuance of marriage licenses on birth certificates and bans same-sex marriage. So, even though we were assigned to different sexes at birth, and after transitioning we are of different sexes, and we got married legally as an "opposite sex" couple, we'd be prohibited from marrying under what I certainly see as a morally repugnant same-sex marriage ban in our home state.
So: we want to have a second wedding, in which we are issued a new marriage certificate with our new names and sex designations, from a state that only requires us to show a driver's license to get a marriage license and does so for second marriages. Can anyone tell me what state would allow us to do this, or give other advice on what to do to remedy the situation?