Trangenders Reception Mixed Amid Alabama Ban on Gay Vows – Amanda Thomas – The Associated Press

Montgomery, Ala. (AP) – On the same day Alabama voters passed an amendment banning same-sex marriage, a transgender woman and her female partner tied the knot legally in Chilton County — but only after being denied a marriage ceremony by a probate judge in another Alabama county.

“He said he only believed in marriage between a man and a woman,” said Janus Carson, who was born male but now appears female and considers herself a female.

Because Janus Carson is a biological male, who has not undergone a sex-change operation, the Chilton County probate judge saw no problem marrying Janus Carson to a female, Cheryjn Carson.

The mixed reception of the couple on June 6 — when Alabama voters emphatically banned gay marriages in the state constitution — depicts the uncertainty of marriage law when it comes to transgenders, a term for those who have changed their biological gender. It’s an uncertainty that extends beyond Alabama.

“A lot of states don’t have any specific laws so it certainly can be done on a case-by-case basis,” said Allison Neal, a law fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union in Alabama.

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said for many years a transgender person had little difficulty getting married if the couple’s relationship was heterosexual.