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TRUMBULL COUNTY Wedding is on hold



Published: Sat, August 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A legal opinion is expected next week.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office is being asked to decide if a transsexual man can marry a woman.

Jacob B. Nash and Erin Barr of Dawson Dr. S.E., Howland, filed an application for marriage Aug. 2 in Trumbull County Probate Court. The couple paid the $44 fee, but their application is pending, court records state.

According to a pamphlet at the county probate court, normally there is a five-day waiting period from the date of application until the license is issued.

Seeking opinion

Court officials said Judge Thomas Swift will rule on the application after receiving an opinion from the county prosecutor's office. Judge Swift and Prosecutor Dennis Watkins could not be reached Friday.

Court officials said the prosecutor should release an opinion sometime next week.

Court officials said Nash is a transsexual and presented an amended Massachusetts birth certificate, which states he is a male, when seeking the application. Court officials did not know what year Nash's birth certificate was amended.

A transsexual is described in Webster's New World Dictionary as "a person who is predisposed to identify with the opposite sex, sometimes so strongly as to undergo surgery and hormone injections to effect a change of sex."

What law says

"Ohio law states that to get married one person has to present a birth certificate that states they are a male and one has to have a birth certificate that states they are female, and they have that," said Atty. Deborah Smith of Akron, who represents the couple.

Officials at the prosecutor's office said they did not know if the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of transsexual marriage.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that a transsexual marriage is invalid. That ruling was issued after a transsexual woman asked to receive part of her former husband's estate.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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