Friday, April 29, 2011

Texan Rules on Transgender: Only Acceptable If Violating Title IX

Two years ago, Texas finally allowed transgendered people to use proof of their sex change to get a marriage license. Finally! We caught up to the rest of the country! Too bad the rest of the country is going straight to hell.

"The Texas Constitution," Senator Tommy Williams said, "clearly defines marriage between one man and one woman." AP reports that the legislation by Williams, of Houston, and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, of Brenham, would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married, effectively requiring the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court decision that said in cases of marriage, gender is assigned at birth and sticks with a person throughout their life even if they have a sex change. Gov. Rick Perry's spokesman Mark Miner said the governor never intended to allow transgendered people to get married. He said the three-word sex change provision was sneaked through on a larger piece of legislation Perry signed two years ago regarding marriage licensing rules for county and district clerks.

Let's start with the "gender is assigned at birth" part. Let's go back to biology and sociology 101, Mr. Perry. Sex is assigned at birth, gender is a role constructed by environment. A sex change isn't even necessarily the end all to gender assignment - if a man feels like a woman, acts like a woman, looks like a woman, thinks he's a woman - he's is, in fact, a woman. Secondly, Governor, it's your job to read and write legislation, so way to fuck that up. Thirdly, it's hard to believe such a huge issue could be so easily "sneaked" in - and by who? Perry (obviously) supports efforts to "clarify the unintended consequences" of that law, Miner said. They never intentionally gave anyone rights. The unintended consequences? People who love each other getting to marry each other. CONSEQUENCES, INDEED.

Ironically, at Texas A&M (which is Perry's alma matar), it's totally okay for boys to be girls, as long it allows the school to comply with the federally funded gender-equality law known as Title IX, which has allowed thousands of girls an athletic team to compete on. According to the New York Times, Division I programs routinely count male players who practice with women’s teams as female participants. Texas A&M, a notoriously conservative University which just won the women’s Division I basketball championship, reported 32 players on that such team in the 2009-10 academic year, although 14 were men. HUH?

Texas seems pretty opportunistic about the flexibility of gender roles - boys can be girls, as long as they don't try to love anyone (love - it's what corrupts the children), and as long as an institution (read: a business) gets their money.

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