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Transgender Not a Wedding Loophole

Not by a wig alone.


Same-sex couples hearing wedding bells thanks to last week’s news that the city will likely let transgendereds mark that switch on their birth certificate should probably lose the wig and paint-on beard. The new rules are great news for New York’s increasingly organized transgender community, making it easier to do tasks non-trans-types take for granted, like apply for health care, apartments, or a job. (When your birth certificate, that mother of all I.D.’s, doesn’t match your name and appearance, it’s a recipe for misery.) But gay or lesbian couples won’t be getting hitched if one partner changes birth-certificate gender. “The idea of an end run around same-sex marriage is a little bizarre,” says Michael Silverman, an attorney at Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, “because you have to show all sorts of affidavits and treatments”—like letters from doctors saying you’ve been living in your new gender for two years—before the city will flip that M to an F, or vice versa. Adds Silverman: “Lining up to get their birth certificates changed isn’t the marriage solution that gay people are looking for.” Probably better to wait to see if Spitzer comes through.

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