Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Hearing today on marriage issue

March 31, 2004

Sandy Gast will have legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union at 9 a.m. today in Leavenworth County District Court.

Gast, who is charged with making a false swearing, was to appear Friday, but her hearing was rescheduled for today because her lawyer could not attend.

Gast, a transgender who is preparing to become a woman, recently had her driver's license, birth certificate and social security number changed. She planned to marry Georgi Somers, a man living as a woman, March 20 in Topeka. But Somers' daughter told law enforcement officials the two were planning to marry. Gast then was arrested for providing false information on a marriage-license application.

Dick Kurtenbach of the ACLU's Kansas and western Missouri chapter said Monday that the organization thought Gast was mistreated.

"We think she was treated unfairly," "Kurtenbach said. "When she had no intent of frauding anyone, that raises some very important civil issues."

Kansas laws do not allow for same-sex marriages and they recognize a person's initial gender as their gender throughout life. Topeka lawyer Pedro Irigonegaray has been hired by the ACLU to represent Gast.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.