In re Ladrach

In In re Ladrach, 32 Ohio Misc. 2d 6, 513 N.E.2d 828 (1987), a post-operative male-to-female transsexual and the transsexual's fiance, a biological male, applied for a marriage license. The application indicated that the transsexual had been married two times before to spouses of the female gender and that both marriages had ended in divorce. After reading the application, the clerk at the license bureau called a judge who reviewed the application. The judge also reviewed a signed letter by a physician indicating that the transsexual had undergone sex reassignment surgery. After reviewing the marriage statute in Ohio, the judge concluded that the application must be denied. Later, the transsexual also filed a petition to have the sex corrected on the transsexual's birth certificate to state "Girl" instead of "Boy." This application was dismissed, and the transsexual filed a complaint for declaratory judgment to have the birth certificate changed and the marriage license issued. The Ohio Probate Court found that the birth certificate, based on Ohio law, should not be changed. The court stated that its statute is a "correction" type statute, which permits a court to correct errors such as spelling of names, dates, race and sex, if in fact there was an error. 32 Ohio Misc. 2d at 8. Since there was no error in the designation of the transsexual as a boy, the application, the court stated, must be dismissed as to the birth certificate change. 32 Ohio Misc. 2d at 8. The court concluded, after a review of prior case law, law review articles, and the posthearing brief of the applicant, that no authority existed in Ohio for the issuance of a marriage license to a post-operative male-to-female transsexual and a male person. 32 Ohio Misc. 2d at 10. If it is to be the public policy of the state of Ohio to issue marriage license in such cases, the court stated, "it is this court's opinion that the legislature should change the statutes." 32 Ohio Misc. 2d at 10.