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Judge denies marriage request



Published: Sat, September 21, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The judge denied the motion, citing technicalities.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A judge in Trumbull County Probate Court has denied a request from a transsexual man to marry.

Judge Thomas Swift released a two-page ruling Friday afternoon, denying Jacob B. Nash and Erin A. Barr's request for a marriage license.

The judge said he denied the request because Nash failed to disclose on the original application of marriage that he had been previously married.

Neither the couple nor their attorney, Deborah Smith, could be reached.

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."

The couple stated during a Sept. 5 hearing that they forgot to mention Nash's previous marriage under the name of Pamela Ann Nash.

That marriage ended in divorce May 6, 1998, court records state.

'Lacks credibility'

"The court finds that the applicants' explanation that they forgot the previous marriage and divorce when they completed the original application lacks credibility," the order states.

"The court further finds that the applicants' omission of said fact was intentional and made with the purpose of misleading this court."

The judge declined to speak on the matter and would not say if the couple would be permitted to reapply.

The judge also denied the motion filed by Smith because it was received after the deadline.

The judge had set the filing deadline as Thursday and said the motion was not received until Friday.

The judge ordered that the motion be returned to Smith.

Smith had argued the couple should be granted a marriage license because Nash has an amended birth certificate from Massachusetts that states he is a male.

Nash said that he was born a female in 1964 and that he received the amended birth certificate about two years ago.

He also stated that he had several surgeries, some in Ohio. He did not specify the type of surgeries.

Cites state law

Smith argued that state law says that to get a marriage certificate, one person must show proof of being male and the other must show proof of being female.

Barr testified during the four-hour hearing that she was born a female in West Virginia. She added that her state-issued birth certificate does not state her gender.

Barr and Nash have said they hope to have a family some day.

They filed an application for marriage Aug. 2 in Trumbull County Probate Court and paid the $44 fee.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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