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If you thought gay marriage was contentious

The Attorney General is being asked for an opinion on transgender marriage.

The El Paso County attorney wants the state’s top lawyer to tell her whether she can issue a marriage certificate to a woman and a biological male who had a sex change operation to become a woman.

County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, in a letter sent last month, asked Attorney General Greg Abbott if the Texas ban on gay marriage prevents her from giving a marriage license to Sabrina Hill, who was born Virgil Eugene Hill, underwent sex change surgery in 1991, and is now seeking to marry a woman.

In February of this year, Hill and another woman asked the El Paso County Clerk for a marriage license. As proof of identification, Hill offered a New York birth certificate identifying her as a male, a Washington State court order changing her name to Sabrina, and an Arizona driver’s license that identified her as a female.

The birth certificate identifying Hill as a male would allow her to marry a woman. On the other hand, a 2009 modification to the family law code allows for a court order to override the gender on one’s birth certificate, and also allows for a driver’s license to be used as proof of identity. Needless to say, those things would prohibit Hill from marrying a woman. You should read Bernal’s letter to Abbott for a fascinating and lucid description of the history and precedents involved (link via PoliTex). I strongly suspect Abbott’s opinion will be to disallow the marriage license, and that someone will file a bill to try to clarify the intent of the law for future reference. Lord only knows what can of worms that will open, of course. Wouldn’t this all be so much simpler if the state quit trying to dictate who can and cannot get married to whom? Too late for that, unfortunately. The Statesman has more.

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