Supreme Court won't debate transsexual marriage

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 08 2002 12:00 AM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a chance to debate the legality of transsexual marriages. The high court has turned away a claim by a transsexual that she is entitled to half her late husband's estate. But the husband's son says his father didn't know his wife was born a man. J'Noel Gardiner argued she was the legal wife of Marshall Gardiner, who died a year after they were married in Kansas in 1988. J'Noel Gardiner had undergone sex-change operations--and the classification on her Wisconsin birth certificate was changed from male to female. Now that the Supreme Court has declined to intervene, Marshall Gardiner's son will inherit his father's $2.5 million estate. If the court had decided to step in, it may have been forced to look into whether states have to recognize same-sex partnerships allowed in other states.