Excerpts from the full New York Times opinion piece to be found at “Is My Marriage Gay?”
AS many Americans know, last week Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed a law that made this state the fifth in the nation to legalize gay marriage. It’s worth pointing out, however, that there were some legal same-sex marriages in Maine already, just as there probably are in all 50 states. These are marriages in which at least one member of the couple has changed genders since the wedding.
I’m in such a marriage myself and, quite frankly, my spouse and I forget most of the time that there is anything particularly unique about our family, even if we are — what is the phrase? — “differently married.”
Deirdre Finney and I were wed in 1988 at the National Cathedral in Washington. In 2000, I started the long and complex process of changing from male to female. …
… I’ve been legally female since 2002, although the definition of what makes someone “legally” male or female is part of what makes this issue so unwieldy. How do we define legal gender? By chromosomes? By genitalia? By spirit? By whether one asks directions when lost?
We accept as a basic truth the idea that everyone has the right to marry somebody. Just as fundamental is the belief that no couple should be divorced against their will.
For our part, Deirdre and I remain legally married, even though we’re both legally female. …
… A lawyer for the transgendered plaintiff in the Littleton case noted the absurdity of the country’s gender laws as they pertain to marriage: “Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Tex., is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Tex., and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”