The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Is Marriage a Sum of Its Parts?

Note: Today is Blogging for LGBT Families Day, the purpose of which is “to indicate that not all families fit the traditional model of one mother and one father.” A good number of my posts today will be in keeping with that theme. So, stay tuned for more here. You can head over to Dana’s for regular updates, and a full listing of participants, blog posts, etc.

It’s a testament to how far behind I am in my blog reading — and how often I have time to do any blog reading, let alone writing — that I didn’t see this story, which was in the news back around May 18th, until yesterday. When I saw it posted at Blabbeando, I knew I had to blog about it anyway, even if it’s old news by now.

Mario del Socorro and Diana Guerrero got married.

A couple who both changed their sex married on Saturday in Mexico’s first transgender wedding, as the traditionally conservative country loses some of its inhibitions.

Mario del Socorro, formerly Maria, and Diana Guerrero, who used to be Jose, held an austere ceremony for friends and relatives in a community center.

The couple said they hoped media coverage would pressure Mexico’s Congress to pass a proposed law that would let people get sex change operations in public hospitals and then be able to change their names and genders in public records.

Ironically, this marriage happened just after the California marriage ruling. It occurred me that this couple might cause the head of the columnist in the previous post to explode. You know, the one who holds that unless a penis goes into a vagina it isn’t marriage? Yeah. That one.

My guess is that she wouldn’t stand and cheer the marriage of two post-op transsexuals — one FTM and one MTF. But there’s at least a couple issues that throw a monkey wrench into her bizarre reductionist definition of marriage.

Del Socorro and Guerrero got married under their pre-sex change names because the law allowing gay civil unions does not give partners the same benefits as a traditional marriage.

At the ceremony, guests cheered the teary-eyed groom and beaming bride as they cut two tall wedding cakes before a crowd of journalists.

Members of the bride’s Catholic family said the couple tried for months to find a priest that would marry them in a church.

“At the end of the day, it’s a marriage between a woman and a man, so what’s the problem with blessing this union in the eyes of God?” said the bride’s sister, Flor Guerrero.

“At the end of the day, it’s a marriage between a woman and a man.” Well, it is. And it doens’t matter whether you mean their pre-operative or post-operative genders. It works either way.

The other issue is one about which I can only hazzard a guess. Though both del Socorro and Guerrero are post-operative, according to the article, I’ve learned never to assume that every transman or transwoman I meet has undergone genital surgery. I don’t even ask. (I wouldn’t dream of asking, actually. The polite southerner in me just won’t let me.) I just accept that the gender identity someone presents. Besides, my understanding from listening to transgender persons talk about their experiences and choices related to transition, not all transgender persons feel that genital surgery is necessary for them to feel “complete” in their gender identity.

However, I found at least one definition of “pre-operative” indicating that it means someone has undergone genital surgery. Assuming that’s the case with del Socorro and Guerrero, then, there’s no issue with “consummation.” So, they’d pass muster with the columnist from the previous post, unless she amended her definition to require the couple to have been born with the parts engaged in consummation. If that’s the case, then, perhaps the opposition will start demanding chromosomal testing prior to marriage, and that consummation either be confirmed by witnesses

There is another question to consider, here, of course. I’ll get to it in more detail later, but leave it to a conservative site — one that identifies “abortion, euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality and all other moral, life and family issues” as part of an “international conflict” that endangers “respect for life and family life.”

However, Judge Lugo officiated the ceremony on the condition that “Mario” was María the bride, and “Diana” was José the groom, since as far as the law of Mexico was concerned he was still marrying a man and a woman, and not performing a same-sex “marriage.” “I am not altering my functions; everything is in accordance with the civil code,” he said.

Although Mexico’s law recognizes both Mario (the erstwhile María) and Diana (the erstwhile José) as having taken up the obligations of traditional marriage – Mexico’s first transsexual homosexuals to do so – it begs the question of what Mexico believes these obligations are. Instead it would seem to indicate that the chief good of marriage is economic benefits for sexual partners, and not the generation and raising children by a father and a mother united in marriage.

The Catholic Church refused to perform a wedding ceremony for the couple and saw marriage as out of the question since transsexualism is an offence against the dignity of the body and human sexuality, no transmission of life is physically possible because of genital mutilation, and the couple were using marriage as a political stunt to advance the homosexual agenda.

(Of course, we know that there’s nothing to stop an MTF and FTM transgender couple from reproducing, given sufficient planning. Eggs can be harvested, and sperm can be banked prior to surgery. Embryo’s can can even be created and frozen until needed. Surrogate womb is required, though, after the hysterectomy that would be part of the FTM transition. None of this would pass muster with the Catholic church, I know. As I understand, the church opposes any means of procreation other than the “old fashioned way.” I’m just saying it can be done, unless we want to marriage to be limited to people who can put the penis one partner was born with into the vagina the other partner was born with, and possibly make babies by doing so.)

I’ll come back to them later, but there are a couple of questions raised here. Are there social goods gained from marriage outside of the “possibility” of procreation? Are there social goods derived from allowing people to marry when there is no possibility (outside of a “miracle”) for procreation?

If there are social goods derived from marriage outside of the possibility of procreation, and social good derived from permitting marriage where procreation is impossible, at what point are they outweighed by the possibility of procreation? At what point do they outweight the lack of possible procreation?


  1. Nine reasons I’m linking to John McCain:

    1) John McCain wants to align himself with Bush on destroying Social Security.

    2) John McCain thinks working-class Americans don’t matter by refusing to support raising the minimum wage.

    3) John McCain thinks the GI Bill is too generous for our veterans.

    4) John McCain is “fine” with us being in Iraq for “a hundred years,” and thinks America could be there for another “thousand years” or even “a million years.”

    5) John McCain thinks NAFTA is fantastic.

    6) John McCain’s economic policy was written by a lobbyist. A maverick? Not so much.

    7) John McCain wants to make abortion illegal by overturning Roe v. Wade.

    8) John McCain thinks Bush was right to veto kids health insurance expansion. He doesn’t care about our children.

    9) John McCain supports Bush’s Iraq strategy, and plans to continue it.

    These articles on John McCain all come from mainstream news sources, and most quote John McCain directly. John McCain: we can’t afford another 4 years of George W. Bush.

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