Archive for Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Transgender marriage plans halted

Leavenworth resident charged with providing false information

March 24, 2004

Sandy Gast and Georgi Somers aren't celebrating a wedding or even a holy union this week.

Instead, Gast will be appearing in Leavenworth County District Court.

Last Thursday, Leavenworth County sheriff's officials charged Gast with swearing falsely to apply for a marriage license. The county attorney's office also has filed a motion to have the couple's marriage license quashed.

Gast and Somers, both transgenders, filled out a license Feb. 27, but current Kansas state law states that marriage only can occur between a man and a woman.

Gast, 47, is a man living as a woman who is in the process of having a sex change. In September 2003, the former Edward Gast had a driver's license, social security card and a revised birth certificate indicate Gast's change.

And on Saturday, Somers, who also is a man living as a woman, planned to have a wedding ceremony with Gast in a Topeka church.
But according to state law, citizens are recognized based on their original gender. That would make the records illegal.
The prosecution first learned of the situation Thursday when Crystal Call, Somers' daughter who lives in Michigan, supplied the county attorney's office with a picture of the couple.
Deborah Owens of the county attorney's office said Gast presented her license, social security card and birth certificate when she appeared before the court Friday.
County attorney Frank Kohl requested that the license be forfeited back to the court; Gast turned the license over to the court.
At that appearance, Gast told judge Frederick Stewart that she wanted a lawyer to represent her.
Gast again will appear in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday with her lawyer.

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