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21 Jul 2017

Singapore Voids Marriage Between Transgender Woman and Her Wife

Family lawyers question marriage registry’s authority to annul marriages without going through court.

Singapore has annulled the marriage of a transgender woman and her partner.

The couple married as a man and woman in 2015 and  the husband later underwent sex change surgery to become a female, according to local daily the Straits Times.

Their marriage was voided by officials in February after the couple informed authorities of the sex change when applying for a flat for married couples, the report added.

It was one of three voided by the Registry of Marriages (ROM) to date, in a little-known proceeding that has caught family lawyers by surprise. The three unions were voided "for reasons including impersonation by one party", an ROM spokesman told The Straits Times.

"Singapore law does not recognise a marriage where both parties are of the same sex. At the point of marriage, a couple must be man and woman, and must want to be and want to remain as man and woman in the marriage," he added.

The couple reportedly missed out on buying a government-subsidised flat for married couples and were forced to move into a smaller, more expensive apartment.

Lawyers in Singapore have questioned the marriage registry’s authority to annul marriages without going to court.

According to The Straits Times, family lawyer Sim Bock Eng said: “There is no requirement that parties must remain of the same gender throughout the marriage, nor is there any provision that such marriages (where parties undergo gender reassignment after marriage) are void.”

Reader's Comments

1. 2017-07-24 19:40  
This may be an interesting legal battle.
2. 2017-07-25 04:09  
If a marriage is defined as between a woman and a man then both would need to transition and do so simultaneously.

Government subsidised property though? Why not get a job?!

3. 2017-07-25 04:21  
I agree with drelin....this may prove very interesting and may help change the laws in a positive way for the LGBT community.
4. 2017-07-26 02:09  
@2: you don't seem terribly in the know of Singapore's housing system:

5. 2017-07-26 03:49  
another backwards Asian country that's full of stupidity, along with Indonesia, China and the Philippines
6. 2017-07-26 20:34  
The sad thing is that Singapore is not backwards at all. It is probably the most modern city/state in the world. But, like much of the developed world, it is still full of religious nuts who claim the right to dictate morality according to their own bias.
7. 2017-07-26 23:52  
Seems that ouggles is an "invalid profile"...
8. 2017-07-27 15:11  
4, HDB is different to the government subsidised flat they "missed out on".

Why can't they work?
9. 2017-08-08 17:50  
@GTiLad - HDB = Housing Development Board. Its is the public housing system of Singapore, it is the subsidized flat that you are referring to. Though at around half a million for a subsidized 3 bedroom 99 years leasehold housing commission flat, I don't know who is actually subsidizing who.

Comment edited on 2017-08-08 17:55:56

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