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Singapore voids couple’s marriage after one of them transitions

Singapore voids couple’s marriage after one of them transitions

A couple in Singapore has had their marriage voided after one of them transitioned.

A married couple has had their marriage voided after one of them underwent gender reassignment surgery.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Singapore and according to a report the couple’s marriage went against federal laws.

The couple named as FK and BS (to protect their privacy) were married in 2015. FK transitioned and her identity card says female.

Now that both of the couple’s national identity cards identifies their gender as female, their marriage is no longer recognized.

The couple was found out after they tried to by a government run apartment and were forced to declare their relationship. In Singapore married couples are given government grants when they buy a state apartment for the first time.

It took a few months for authorities to void the couple’s marriage. They are also now inelegible to buy the government apartment.

The marriage was voided several months later, making them ineligible to buy the apartment they wanted, the paper said.

‘At the point of marriage, a couple must be man and woman, and must want to be and want to remain as man and woman in the marriage,’ Singapore’s Registry of Marriages said in a statement.

Weary of fighting

FK and BS had been together for eight years when they were married in 2015.

After months of bureaucracy the couple did get government apartment. But it was half the size of the one they would have been eligible for if their marriage was still recognized.

They were only allowed to buy it under the Singles Scheme, costing them S$15,000 ($10,859) more than the cost for a married couple.

The entire ordeal has taken a toll on the couple.

‘It’s a bit of a weird position, because on the one hand I’ve never been happier with myself. But then on the other hand, what am I dealing with now?’ FK told Quartz.

‘I’ve always been a very big workaholic… now I’m the complete opposite. I can’t see myself working anymore, I’m just so demoralized… Every morning I wake up and I ask myself, why should I contribute to this society anymore? You know, if this is how they’re going to treat me, why should I bother?’

Get with times, Singapore

Singapore’s public housing system favours heterosexual couples and ‘traditional’ families.

It has placed strict restrictions on who is able to buy a a new Build-To-Order (BTO) flat. Priority is given to people who fall in line with the ‘pro-family’ agenda. As the population ages and the birth-rate stays very low, the Singapore government is encouraging families to have more children.

‘For LGBT individuals, especially transgender young persons who may have been rejected or disowned by their families because of their inability to accept their child’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, current HDB policies also make it difficult for them to access public housing,’ said Leow Yangfa, executive director of LGBT-friendly counselling and personal development organization Oogachaga.

‘Statistics show an increasing trend towards single-person households, later marriages, fewer children, marriages where there are no children, families with children led by same-sex couples.’

‘All this should force the HDB (Housing Development Board) to update its policies to keep up with social realities.’