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Couple facing hitch in license says minister married them



Published: Wed, September 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



They displayed a photo of themselves taken outside the courthouse in their wedding attire.

WARREN -- Jacob B. Nash and Erin Barr of Dawson Drive S.E., Howland, say they were married by a minister Saturday and hope probate Judge Thomas Swift will grant them a marriage license after a hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Nash, who is described by court officials as a transsexual, and Barr applied for a marriage license Aug. 2 in Trumbull County Probate Court and paid the $44 fee, but their application is still pending. Nash presented an amended Massachusetts birth certificate, which states he is male, when he applied.

The couple were married in a private ceremony at DiVieste's Banquet Hall by a nondenominational state-licensed ordained minister they declined to identify. Barr said the minister has agreed to sign the marriage license once it is issued.

News conference

They announced their wedding at a news conference Tuesday evening in the gazebo on the Trumbull County Courthouse grounds and displayed a photo of themselves taken outside the courthouse in their wedding attire.

"Regardless of how Judge Swift feels about the marriage, we have been united in Christ. The marriage has taken place, and our primary objective was to have it both recognized by the state of Ohio as well as our minister and our church," Barr said.

The couple's lawyer, Deborah Smith of Akron, has said she believes the two should be granted a marriage license because state law says that to get a license, one person has to produce a birth certificate showing he is male and the other has to produce a birth certificate showing she is female.

"We feel that, if he had not changed his name legally here in Trumbull County, it would not have been an issue to have a marriage license issued," Barr said, noting that a clerk asked Nash if he had changed his name when the couple applied for the marriage license.

Unsure of legality

Court officials have said they don't know if the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of transsexual marriage.

The couple said they would appeal if Judge Swift won't grant their marriage license. "We fully intend to pursue this as far as we need to obtain our license," Barr said.




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