Lesbian couple whose marriage was terminated after gender confirmation surgery wins right to appeal
A Singaporean lesbian couple has appealed after their marriage was voided because one of the women underwent gender confirmation surgery.
The women were officially married as a heterosexual couple in 2015.
But, with Singapore not permitting same-sex marriages, a registrar decided last February to revoke the marriage and delete it from the records.
The spouses, known as FK and BS, applied in November to have the official’s actions examined in an effort to get back their married status.
That request has now been granted by the country’s High Court, according to Quartz.
The couple has had to endure discrimination for years.
FK was made to dress as “obviously male” for the wedding to match her identity card and to sign a declaration stating that she had not received gender surgery before the marriage.
The women were also rejected when they applied for the four-bedroom flat in public housing which they were due after a four-year wait.
The couple’s solicitors, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss and Suang Wijaya of Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, said that the registrar had “acted beyond her legal powers.”
A date has not yet been set for the case.
Singapore recognises transgender people and allows lesbian sex. Other LGBT rights in the country – including same-sex marriage and the right for men to have sex with each other – are non-existent.
The law explaining unions states that a “marriage solemnised in Singapore or elsewhere between persons who, at the date of the marriage, are not respectively male and female shall be void.”
But when FK and BS were married in 2015, FK’s identity card still defined her as “male”.
Her legal gender was not changed until 2016.
She said she felt that “the case was never really properly concluded because the reason for revoking the marriage… it leaves open more questions than answers.”
And FK added that she hoped their case would help other people suffering discrimination in Singapore.
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“It’s time the LGBT community got a sense of direction of where the government is,” she said.
“There are some questions that do deserve answers, and we need to know what the government’s stance is with regard to LGBT rights.”
Last year, strict entry requirements were imposed on Singapore’s annual LGBT rally as part of a government crackdown.
The government also imposed strict entry requirements on those wishing to enter the park for the event.
The park was also barricaded to prevent foreign visitors from joining the event.