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Gender change does not void Indiana marriage

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Indiana law does not automatically void a marriage if one of the parties later is legally recognized as the same gender as the spouse, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The issue arose in In Re the Marriage of Melanie Davis and Angela Summers, 53A01-1305-DR-221. Melanie Davis filed a petition to dissolve her marriage with Angela Summers in 2012. The two were married in 1999 when Davis was living as David Paul Summers, and they have one child. In 2005, Davis petitioned the Marion Circuit Court to change her name and birth certificate to recognize that she is female. Davis has “gender dysphoria,” which is a disorder of people whose gender at birth is contrary to the one they identify with.

Davis’ birth certificate was changed in October 2008.  

The trial court originally approved of the provisional order for dissolution, but then sua sponte issued an order that the marriage became void when Davis’ birth certificate was changed to female based on I.C. 31-11-1-1. That statute prohibits same-sex marriage. The trial court dismissed the petition for dissolution.

“Simply said, there is nothing in the Indiana Code chapter dealing with void marriages that declares that a marriage that was valid when it was entered into becomes void when one of the parties to that marriage has since changed his or her gender,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote.

“To conclude that the parties’ marriage somehow became void when the gender was changed on Davis’s birth certificate would permit Davis to effectively abandon her own child, even though the parties were validly married at the time of the child’s birth and even though Davis is the child’s father. It would also leave the parties’ child without the protection afforded by Indiana’s dissolution statutes with regard to parenting time and child support. We do not think that our General Assembly intended such a result.”

Mathias pointed out in a footnote that the trial court ruling could terminate her parental rights, something Davis does not want.
 

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  • epistemology
    just because there are foothills does not mean there are not mountains. concepts are based on generalizations and just because they have some exceptions does not make them per se invalid. the same fallacy applied to the silly notion I sometimes hear that "there is no such thing as race" will soon be applied to sex/gender, ie, its all "socially constructed." in this way, paradoxically, exceptions are used to undermine valid generalizations (like the "male/female" duality) and then the useful social arrangements based on such generalization gets shattered. Somebody wants things to happen that way, you don't reverse a nearly universal human concept that's been around as long as civilization itself by accident or some new fangled "insight." The ancients knew about hermaphrodites as much as we do and they didn't see fit to toss male/female overboard so why should we. The name itself comes from a pagan greek godling, the progeny of hermes and Aphrodite.
  • Oops
    Oops, I meant "repent" not recent. Instead of arguing biology, James, throw yourself into post modern sociology with the Colorado College that now recognizes five genders for Title VII purposes.
  • Room 101 is indicated
    James, What you have written below is dangerously close to stating that 2+2=4 or that you do not love Big Brother. A trip to Room 101 may be in order, but first we shall find you flirting with mental illness and force you to watch this for 48 hours with your eyelids glued wide open: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/fausto-sterling.html Such rational, scientific and traditional thought is a threat to the Soros World Order that some in judiciary are dedicated to building in our midst. Recent or be found lacking character and fitness to be an officer of the court.
    • NOT ANSWERED OR ADDRESSED BY COURTS: IF DAVIS STILL HAS X & Y CHROMOSOMES, IS DAVIS IN REALITY STILL A MALE OR SOMEHOW NOW A FEMALE BECAUSE OF APPEARANCE?
      Trial Court and Court of Appeals did not address what may be the fundamental issue of this case (and may make the whole business moot)-- does one undergoing cosmetic surgery and hormone therapy but still retaining an X and Y chromosome (or an X and Y Y chromosomes) which does not change and which Davis to have and still does have since he/she fathered children, become a female? Likely this was not raised in the Courts and they may not wish to go there because of the troubled waters involved. These are genital ambiguity or so-called inter-sex condition at birth but with X and Y chromosomes. These babies are usually raised as girls and may have surgery and hormones. Courts may find it easier to avoid this whole area.

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      1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

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