Legal battles revolving around marriages can often get a little messy, but in recent news, a Singaporean couple has launched a legal challenge against authorities that annulled their marriage because the husband went through a sex change procedure, a lawyer said Monday.
Their marriage was voided last year by the city-state as their current partnership – a same-sex union, post surgery – is illegal under Singaporean law.
Singapore, despite being one of the most advanced and developed nations of the world, is still conservative about its attitude towards homosexuality. Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has also shared that the country is still not ready to rule same-sex marriage legal.
The couple, Faith and Bryce Volta, had married as a man and woman back in 2015, Straits Times reported. The husband, Faith, later underwent sex change operation and also updated her national identity card to read that she is female.
About 6 months later, the government's registrar of marriage decided to meet the couple to discuss the sex change and give them the information that it will lead to their marriage getting annulled.
In response, the couple asked the high court to review the registrar's decision, their lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam confirmed. Thuraisingam's law firm is representing the couple for free, the paper reported.
To their challenge, the authorities had previously cited the country's laws which calls marriage a union between a man and a woman and used that as a reason to annul the Voltas' marriage post Faith's sex change.
Singapore's legislation states that sex between two men is a criminal act. But over the years, support for gay rights has been growing and evolving among the youth and the huge expatriate community residing there.