State of Victoria Invalidates Trans Man’s Marriage

PaigePhoenix The state of Victoria has invalidated the marriage of a trans man and his wife.

Paige Phoenix was able to marry his female partner because the Australian government had granted him a passport stating his gender as male.

The State of Victoria invalidated their union because of a state law that requires a transgender person to undergo surgery before they can have their birth certificate amended to reflect a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

Phoenix has an underlying medical condition that prohibits him from undergoing the required surgery, making him unable to alter his birth certificate.

“There’s not a single fibre of my body or my mind that’s female, never has been, never will be. I should have the right to have my documents reflect that.”

“Those sorts of inconsistencies are not just theoretical paperwork inconveniences – they ground themselves in very real impacts for people like me.”

““When we’re forced to do things like go under the knife and have life-threatening surgery in order to have our sex recognised, it’s ridiculous. No one should have to have bits of their genitals cut off, or parts of their bodies removed that they don’t want to necessarily have removed in order to be recognised.”

Australian Marriage Equality’s Ivan Hinton had this to say: ““It is devastating that a State law can intervene to effectively terminate a loving marriage.

“Marriage is the union of two people who have chosen to build a life together based on love, commitment, respect and hope for a future. It isn’t about gender.”

“It is ridiculous that a state institution ignores Federal documents that recognise the opposite sexes of this couple while attempting to enforce Federal marriage laws, currently opposed to same-sex couples marrying.”

“By a single act by Federal parliament this situation could be resolved. Equal marriage would remove this issue entirely and provide dignity for all Australians.”

In Western Australia, the state government does not allow individuals who are already married to apply for a gender reassignment recognition certificate due to the illegality of marriages between same sex individuals. This means that a married person who wishes to change the gender listed on their official documents has to choose between their marriage remaining legal and their gender being legally recognised.

Phoenix expounds on the state of Victoria’s invalidation of his marriage and the current requirements for legal recognition of gender in the clip below, from Fairfax Media.

Sophie Joske


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