Alex Blaze

Virginia couple won't be charged

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 01, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: male, marriage, transgender, Virginia

I posted a week ago about the possibly gay couple in Virginia who got married there because one person said he was the bride. The prosecutor has decided not to press charges:

The case turned on whether the pair knowingly committed a fraud, something prosecutors couldn't determine, according to a letter Davis received Monday from Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney Howard E. Gwynn.

"We don't have the ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was an intent to deceive," said Jack Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Gwynn.

Fitzpatrick said Virginia law does not clearly define "bride" and "groom," which at the time were the only spaces on the marriage license application the couple filled out. The forms have since been changed to specify "male applicant" and "female applicant."

"Now that the forms have been changed, that is a crime and should someone do that again, they will be prosecuted," Fitzpatrick said.

Great! Because the terms "male" and "female" are so much less vague!

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James Baldridge | July 2, 2008 8:51 AM

We could almost wish they had been prosecuted, so they either could have won, or lost and appealed higher to get the law looked at! huh, that's a pickle!

As we recently saw on a series of articles and comments to them, defining "male" and "female" is next to impossible. Is the state of Virginia going to require chromosome tests for every applicant for a marriage license? Even that could lead to ambiguous results.

The Commonwealth of Virginia needs to realize that gender really isn't a binary thing.

Just changing a form is always a good resolution to an issue, isn't it. Sure, it is.

My question is whether or not they needed legislative authority to change the form? They may have exceeded their own authority by doing so. Is this something that just applies in the Newport News area? If so, does it conflict with Commonwealth law?

Lots of questions, no answers. Any attorneys out there?

Did they annul the marriage or let it stand? I'm behind on this story. :)