I've not been up to anything interesting since my last post, other than moving house - I'm now a Dalston Hipster - and asking my girlfriend to marry me on her 30th birthday while we were in Paris (romantic, aren't I?).
Anyway, you've probably heard that the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill was passed and received Royal assent. This is a good thing. As Jack of Kent points out, it's not correct to say that gay marriage is now legal in England & Wales, but that's simply because the Act is not in force, and it probably won't be until some time next year.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Act discriminates against transsexuals: if you want to have a sex-change, but your husband/wife opposes it, they can force you to divorce them or get an annulment. This has been labelled a "Spousal Veto". (Thanks to Left Outside for the link).
This is clearly a bad thing.
However, I don't think that it will have any real impact, because there seems to be 4 possible situations:
- You want a sex-change. Partner says "No". You decide not to have one
- You want a sex-change. Partner says "No". You decide to have one
- You want a sex-change. Partner says "Yes". You decide to have one
- You want a sex-change. Partner says "Yes". You decide not to have one
In the first, third and fourth situations, the law is not relevant. In the second situation, clearly your partner doesn't want to be with you, and so an annulment/divorce would be likely to happen no matter what.
I guess there's also a possibility of the law itself being challenged on human rights grounds (most likely Art. 12 and Art. 14, and possibly Art. 8 and Art. 10), but I don't think that there could be any situations in which challenges could be raised, other than those relating to annulments, to which #2 would still apply.
So it seems that either the Act will no impact on transsexuals, or will be helpful.
Of course, it would have been preferable had the law been drafted in a way so that the issue didn't arrive...Tweet