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Gender, gender, gender....


Kate Thomas:
Gender, gender, gender....

From the law blog of Arthur S. Leonard

Two new decisions raising gender identity issues have emerged...

Down in Pinellas County, Florida, state Circuit Judge Jack R. St. Arnold rejected an argument that Lawrence Roach should be able to suspend alimony payments to his ex-wife, Julia, who has undergone gender reassignment surgery and obtained a legal name change and is now known as Julio Roberto Silverwolf.  Roach v. Roach, No. 04-004277-FD-14 (March 28, 2007).  Roach argued that because Florida does not recognize same-sex marriage, he should not have to pay alimony to a man.  But Judge St. Arnold refused to relieve Roach of his alimony obligation, relying on Florida decisions that for purposes of the law one's birth gender is permanent.  St. Arnold wrote that the definition of gender is "a question that raises issues of public policy that should be addressed by the Legislature, not the Florida courts." 


The other case, Smith v. Smith, 2007 WL 901599 (Ohio Ct. App., 7th Dist., March 23, 2007), poses the difficult question of how a custodial parent is to deal with a child who claims to be experiencing gender dysphoria.  The child in this case, the older of two brothers, began exhibiting signs that he wanted to be treated as a girl from an early age.  From reading the opinion for the court by Judge Waite, it seems that the father was oblivious to this but the mother picked up on it and did not discourage it.  The child was six when the marriage dissolved, at which time mother was made residential custodian of the two boys (the other was four years younger).  According to the opinion, the father did not have lots of contact with the boys after the divorce.  The mother did research on transsexuality, decided that her older son had gender dysphoria, and took steps she thought appropriate in the circumstances to help him achieve a smooth gender transition in the future.  That is, she did not discourage him from wearing girls' clothing, let him adopt a female name, Christine, which she used for him, and -- the move that set off this lawsuit by the father to regain custody -- moved with both boys to a different town in order to enroll "Christine" in a new school as a girl, and started taking him to transgender support group meetings (where all the other participants were adults).  She did not take him to be examined by a specialist in gender identity, relying solely on her own "diagnosis" of the situation. The move early in 2004 set off the father, who suddenly became concerned, was convinced that his son was a boy and that the mother's actions were harming him, and sought a change of custody of both boys to him.

Thank you for posting a link and the quotes from that blog.  For those looking for the articles concerning these cases can look here:

Judge: Sex Change Doesn't End Alimony

Trans ID at Issue in Custody Case

In Kansas, you're an IT by legal definition.  ::)

-- Brede is an IT!!! RUN AWAY!


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