Italy to rule on forced divorce after sex change

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Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Italy. David Goehring/Flickr
09:42 CEST+02:00
A number of marriages in Italy, where same-sex marriages are illegal, have been automatically scrapped from the registry after one of the spouses had a sex change.

But this could be about to change after Italy’s Supreme Court asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the validity of obligatory divorce post-sex change, according to Italian press reports.

The court said that imposing divorce is "State interference of the personal right of the individual’s will”.

It added that dissolving the marriage “undermines the principle of self-determination of the person who intends to undergo the sex change,” and “eliminates the right to family life achieved in marriage for the future.”

The move was prompted by appeals from a couple in Mirandola, Emilia, to have their marriage reinstated after it was dissolved in 2011 following the husband’s sex change. A lawyer for the couple told Italian daily La Stampa that the pair were delighted and that the move was “a step forward”.

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In 2009, a court in Bologna cancelled a marriage following the husband’s sex change without the consent of either spouse. The couple wished to stay married but a problem came up when the husband went to officially change his name on the registrar following the sex change operation.

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