Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You're married? Not anymore, you ain't

Here's another state that ought to quickly legalize gay marriage. A couple in Tennessee, married for a year-and-a-half, have just seen their wedlock nullified by authorities when they decided one of them, a transgendered man-to-woman, was more man than woman, which (in their minds) made them a same-sex couple. And seeing as Tennessee isn't one of the Holy Quintality of states to accept same-sex marriage ... well, you know.

Jo T. Rittenberry, 46, was born a man and claims to have had sex reassignment surgery in Canada. The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reported that she had officials legally change the gender on her Kentucky birth certificate and Tennessee driver's license.

Rittenberry married Jeffery Scott Phillips, 36, in November 2007.

Kelly Farmer, director of communications at the Davidson County Clerk's Office, said Tennessee authorities will not honor the marriage because Rittenberry was not born a woman.

Tennessee does not permit same-sex marriage and does not recognize gender change even after sex reassignment surgery.

"The marriage is real to me," said Rittenberry, also known as Terri Jo Colby. "It wasn't anything planned to be deceptive. I'm not gay, and Jeff ain't either."

This story is fun on so many levels. Imagine that your happy wedding is abruptly terminated, just like that, because "authorities" don't agree with it. Imagine being classified as a man when you know in your mind and heart that you're a woman (which is basically what transgendered people are). Imagine that the fat cats can do whatever the hell they please to you and your life, just because you fit a description they don't approve. Obviously, such is the case in Tennessee.

I would suggest MISS Rittenberry and mister Phillips move somewhere else. Preferably amongst the ranks of either Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, Maine or Massachusetts. I would also suggest Ms. Rittenberry agreeably knee in the balls anyone who calls her "Mr.".

I may be a little awkward towards transgenderism in general, but it's their choice and right, and no-one can presume to take that away from them. If you wanna be a woman, be a woman. Wanna be a man, be a man. Don't let anyone else say any different, just because it's not "proper" or "conventional" – two aspects to society I couldn't give less of a honkin' shit about if I tried.


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