SYDNEY, October 16, 2001 ( – Australian Family Court Justice Richard Chisholm ruled Friday that marriage between two women is valid since one of the partners had sexual reassignment surgery. The alarming ruling says that there is no persuasive reason to assume, for the purposes of marriage, that “if a person is a male or female at birth, the person must be a male or female at the date of the marriage”.

The Federal Attorney-General opposed the case, arguing the husband was not a man under marriage law. He submitted the meaning of the word “man” in the Marriage Act should be the meaning given when the Act was passed in 1961 – whether a person was a male at birth. The ruling also contradicts a 1971 English decision known as Corbett.

The complete ruling is on the Family Court’s website at:

See the coverage in Australia’s Daily Telegraph:,5936,3048228%255E702,00.html


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