A California group called Vote Yes Marriage is circulating a ballot petition which purports to eliminate the possibility of same sex marriage. What intrigues me is the way it defines man and woman:

Only marriage between one man and one woman is valid or recognized in California, whether contracted in this state or elsewhere. A man is an adult male human being who possesses at least one inherited Y chromosome, and a woman is an adult female human being who does not possess an inherited Y chromosome. Neither the Legislature nor any court, government institution, government agency, initiative statute, local government, or government official shall abolish the civil institution of marriage between one man and one woman, or decrease statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage shared by one man and one woman, or require private entities to offer or provide rights, incidents, or benefits of marriage to unmarried individuals, or bestow statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage on unmarried individuals. Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding, from within this state or another jurisdiction, that violates this section is void and unenforceable. (Emphasis added.)

OK, for the record, I don’t support the ordinance. Not only does it prohibit same sex marriage, it prohibits the “incidents” of marriage (a can of worms I’ve discussed before).
But this definition of man and woman is an interesting new wrinkle, and I don’t think I’ve seen that written into one of these laws before. I’ll try to follow out what this means before I lose what’s left of my mind. Let’s see:

  • men who have become women by changing their sex from male to female would only be allowed to marry women
  • women who have become men by changing their sex from female to male would only be allowed to marry men
  • Likewise, men who have not changed their sex would be forbidden from marrying men who have, but they would be allowed to marry female-to-male sex changes. And vice versa: women who have not changed their sex would be allowed to marry men who have changed their sex to female.
    So, like it or not, this ordinance would (if it gets on the ballot and passes) cause an instant role reversal of the present “heteronormative” situation. Right now, a man can marry a transsexual woman (a woman who who used to be a man), and such marriages are considered legal heterosexual marriages. If this passes, they’ll become illegal homosexual marriages — all “heteronormative” intentions of the couple notwithstanding.
    And after this passes, there would be created for the first time a protected species of lucky, legal gay couples in California. Think about it: any man in California who found a woman who had changed her sex to male could marry “her” — even though both would look and act like men, and while they would be be visually undistiguishable from other gay male couples, they’d be permitted to marry for the first time under California law. Ditto for lesbians who want to marry; they need only find a post operative male-to-female willing to exchange vows.
    Transsexuals would be allowed to marry after their sex changes, but only in a homonormative manner.
    If you don’t think it will happen, you don’t know California.
    Just think. Virtual same sex marriage!
    Brought to you by the American Family Association, the Traditional Values Coalition, and a whole host of other, apparently pro-virtual gay marriage groups!
    (Um, this is satire, right? Will someone please let me know?)