Bellinger v Bellinger: CA 17 Jul 2001

Transgender Male may not marry as Female

Despite gender re-assignment, a person born and registered a male, remained biologically a male, and so was not a woman for the purposes of the law of marriage. The birth registration in this case had been correct. The words ‘male and female’ in the section had not previously been interpreted. The Corbett criteria remained applicable. The ability to marry is a matter of status, and is not for the parties alone. If this law is to be changed it must be for parliament to do so. (Lord Thorpe dissenting)

Butler-Sloss President, Thorpe LJ, Walker LJ
Times 15-Aug-2001, Gazette 31-Aug-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 1140, [2002] 2 WLR 411, [2002] Fam 150
Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 11(c)
England and Wales
CitedCorbett v Corbett (otherwise Ashley) FD 1-Feb-1970
There had been a purported marriage in 1963 between a man and a male to female trans-sexual.
Held: Because marriage is essentially a union between a man and a woman, the relationship depended on sex, and not on gender. The law should adopt the . .
Appeal fromBellinger v Bellinger FD 22-Nov-2000
The test for what sex somebody was for the purposes of validating a marriage was the sex as decided and set out on the birth registration certificate. Though increasing recognition has been given to the complexities of gender identity over the . .
CitedHyde v Hyde and Woodmansee 20-Mar-1866
A marriage contracted in a country where polygamy is lawful, between a man and a woman who profess a faith which allows polygamy, is not a, marriage as understood in Christendom; and although it is a valid marriage by the lex loci, and at the time . .
CitedRegina v Tan CA 1983
Tan and others were accused of keeping a disorderly house having advertised: ‘Humiliation enthusiast, my favourite past time is humiliating and disciplining mature male submissives, in strict bondage, lovely tan coloured mistress invites humble . .
CitedS v S-T (Formerly J) CA 25-Nov-1996
The parties had gone through a form of marriage, but the purported husband was many years later revealed to be a female to male transsexual. The marriage had been annulled. There was now an application for ancillary relief.
Held: Ancillary . .
CitedW v W (Physical inter-sex) FD 31-Oct-2000
A party to a marriage had ambiguous physical characteristics. The respondent’s sex at birth was uncertain, and that the parents chose to register her as a boy. As a child and a young woman she dressed as, appeared as, and acted as female. At 17, she . .
CitedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromBellinger v Bellinger HL 10-Apr-2003
Transgender Male to Female not to marry as Female
The parties had gone through a form of marriage, but Mrs B had previously undergone gender re-assignment surgery. Section 11(c) of the 1973 Act required a marriage to be between a male and a female. It was argued that the section was incompatible . .
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Administrative

Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.147617