Sex Change issue

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    Wills.org.ukA couple from Cambridgeshire who were happily married for 30 years have remarried in a civil ceremony as two women to avoid inheritance tax.

    The couple had to have their marriage annulled after the husband decided to have a sex change operation. The change of gender meant that they couldn’t remain married; a previous clause allowing marriages that survived a spouse changing gender to remain legal was removed before the Gender Recognition Act 2004 was ratified.

    The couple, who say they are soul mates and have been best friends since they married in 1977, had to get the marriage annulled so that a gender recognition certificate could be issued.

    The annulment meant that the couple would have been liable for inheritance tax bills on first death along with problems with life insurance and pension rights. This left them with the difficult decision of remaining as husband and wife or for the husband to legally become a woman, having the marriage annulled and remarrying as civil partners. The ceremony took part last year, just a few days after their decree absolute was granted.

    Debates have since taken place between lawyers, wishing to preserve the law as it stands, and transgender pressure groups such as the Beaumont Society who consider the current situation as unfair and want the law ‘tidying up’ to prevent couples in this situation having to have a marriage annulled just to remarry in a civil partnership.

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