2 more women obtain county marriage license

By John Gutierrez-Mier
Express-News Staff Writer

For the second time in two weeks, the Bexar County clerk's office Wednesday issued a marriage license to two women.

The couple, who reside in Corrales, N.M., presented County Clerk Gerry Rickhoff with two Ohio drivers' licenses that identified both as female.

But one of the two, Lori D. Killough, 63, had changed her sex through a surgical procedure and was able to present a birth certificate showing she was born a man.

And that makes her legally a man in the 32 Texas counties covered by the state's 4th Court of Appeals, whose year-old ruling that one's sex at birth determines one's sex for life continues to reverberate nationwide.

Rickhoff said he was stunned when Killough and her partner, Cynthia J. Young, 51, walked into his office and requested the license, but he readily granted it.

"I had only seen my first case a few weeks ago, and I didn't expect another couple wanting a license this soon," Rickhoff said.

Just 14 days earlier he had issued a license to Jessica Wicks and Robin Manhart Wicks of Houston.

Each couple based their request on an appeals court decision that rejected a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a San Antonio transsexual, Christy Lee Littleton, against Dr. Mark Prang, whom she accused of malpractice in the death of her husband.

The 4th Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 vote, ruled that Littleton had never been legally married because she was born male and thus had no standing to sue. The case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attempts to reach Killough and Young for comment were unsuccessful.

The law requires a 72-hour waiting period after a license is issued before couples can actually marry. After the period is up, couples have 30 days to get married by a justice of the peace or judge or a clergy member.

Phyllis Frye, a Houston lawyer who represented Littleton and the Wicks, said she knew nothing about the New Mexico couple.

"I was unaware that this had happened, but I'm glad they did it," said Frye, who is e-mailing transsexuals across the country, encouraging them to come to San Antonio to get married. "I think this is great."

Rickhoff said he couldn't predict how many more same-sex couples would seek marriage licenses, but if they are legally male and female, he said, they will be treated like any other couple that come to his office.


jgmier@express-news.net

09/20/2000

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