Australian trans man to take annulment of marriage to wife to United Nations

Paige Phoenix has had his marriage to his wife annulled by the Victorian state government despite his passport saying he is male and living as a man for seven years but he hopes the United Nations Human Rights Committee will find in his favor

Australian trans man to take annulment of marriage to wife to United Nations
08 July 2014

Australian transgender man Paige Phoenix will challenge his home state of Victoria’s policy of only allowing those who have undergone a full surgical genital sex change from changing their sex on their birth certificates in the United Nations after it annulled his marriage against his will.

Phoenix is recognized by the Australian Government as male and has a male passport but his state’s registry of births, deaths and marriages will not recognize him as male unless he undergoes the surgery – which could be life threatening for him due to a previous medical condition.

Phoenix was able to use his passport to convince a celebrant they could legally perform the ceremony and in 2012 he and his wife were married and issued a marriage certificate.

However when it was lodged Births Deaths Marriages Victoria cross referenced it with his birth certificate and wrote to the couple to instruct them to return their marriage certificate for ‘destruction.’

Phoenix has refused to comply with that direction and plans to take his case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee after lodging his complaint in 2013.

He will argue at the UN that a person should not have to undertake irreversible invasive surgery in order to change their gender on a government form.

‘Culturally, we have such an emphasis on defining gender by genitals but if you walked past me on the street you wouldn’t know that I hadn’t been born male,’ Phoenix told The Canberra Times this week.

‘I’m not female and I should have the right to have my documents reflect that.’

Deputy Director of Australian Marriage Equality Ivan Hinton said Phoenix’s situation, and those of other transgender Australians who live in states with stricter guidelines on changing legal gender than the Australian Government, could be easily avoided if Australia adopted a gender neutral definition of marriage.

‘It is devastating that a State law can intervene to effectively terminate a loving marriage,’ Hinton said.

‘Marriage is the union of two people who have chosen to build a life together based on love, commitment, respect and hope for a future. It isn’t about gender.’

‘It is ridiculous that a state institution ignores Federal documents that recognize the opposite sexes of this couple while attempting to enforce Federal marriage laws, currently opposed to same-sex couples marrying.

‘By a single act by Federal parliament this situation could be resolved. Equal marriage would remove this issue entirely and provide dignity for all Australians.’

In 2011 Phoenix became the first ever transgender contestant on Australia’s version of The X Factor.



No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Arrests and beatings at Ukraine gay human rights protest

A pro human rights event and against homophobia was brutally crushed by police and attacked by far-right groups in Kyiv, Ukraine
No thumbnail available

Governor of Idaho suffers setback in his effort to stop gay marriages in his state

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denies request from Butch Otter for review of gay marriage ruling by full court
No thumbnail available

Stop everything, Kylie reveals four new free songs

Australian gay icon has just started her Kiss Me Once World Tour and is celebrating by giving her fans new tracks for free
No thumbnail available

Magnificent seven push for Scottish marriage

Activists have united to back Scotland's plan to replace civil partnership with full gay marriage rights
No thumbnail available

Bowler scores strike with rare gay kiss on ESPN

Scott Norton snogs husband after winning bowling title in what may be one of first gay athlete kisses shown on TV channel
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Watch Hugh Jackman rap, NPH as Hedwig at Tony Awards

Jonathan Groff referenced John Travolta's introduction of Idina 'Adele Dazeem' Menzel at the Oscars in his own presentation
No thumbnail available

A bar game that’s top banana

Bananagrams will make you and your friends into cheeky monkeys down the pub
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris claims the groping rules are a bit more relaxed for gays

'When you're gay you kind of get the bum touching free card'