Are transgendered people allowed to get married or be in relationships?

I saw this on the news recently and out of curiosity, I want to know if transgendered people are allowed to get married / be in relationships, or does the CC still recognize it as a gay relationship?

I think you need to clarify your definition of “transgender”.

Do you mean someone who has had reassignment surgery? For example, Fredrika used to be Fred and now wants to marry Joe.

The answer to that question is NO.

The Church does not recognize a reassigned sex. It recognizes only the sex you were born as. And one cannot marry a person of the same sex.

Well I was questioning with or without surgery.

I’m assuming if it is possible, then it would only be after surgery because that would only be the real way to consume the marriage. Obviously a gay couple wouldn’t be able to successfully consume their marriage, but with a sex change surgery, I guess they would?

Not sure.

Probably not.

I say “probably” because the Church has in the past celebrated marriages involving a post-operative transsexual. However, about a decade ago there was a news report by the Catholic News Service (which is affiliated with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) regarding a leaked Vatican document. According to the news article, this document was being made available to the bishops on a “as needed” basis, but it was secret (officially sub secretum) and not to be revealed to the public. And such a document has never been made public, so all we have to go by is that one news report from 2003.

If the news report is accurate (again, we are talking about a purported leaked document which has never been made public) then the Church does not recognize sexual reassignment surgery as changing a person’s gender.

After years of study, the Vatican’s doctrinal
congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document
concluding that “sex-change” procedures do not change a person’s
gender in the eyes of the church.

Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex
listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have
undergone “sex-change” procedures are not eligible to marry, be
ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a
source familiar with the text.

NB: the link I provided is from a pro-transsexual website. Unfortunately, CNS didn’t keep its early online archives public, so the reproduction of the article which I linked to is the best copy of the article available online. I remember reading the original article, and the reproduction of it seems to be essentially correct.

Source please.

No, it is not possible for a person who has undergone reassignment surgery to marry a person who is, in reality, the same sex as they are. Again, “reassigning” themselves as another sex does not in fact make them that other sex. They are, and always will be, the sex they were born.

A person who has these transgendered feelings could marry a person of the opposite sex if they have not undergone surgery. This would have to be carefully analyzed beforehand, however, as this sort of confusion and mental issues could be an impediment to valid marriage.

Well, wouldn’t that technically make them gay then if they’re mentally the same gender?

What you’re saying sounds like the church looks at the sex you were born rather than the sex you feel mentally. I that right?

That is why I said they would need very careful examination. They may not be mentally able to contract marriage.


How you “feel” is not relevant. That can be deceptive, disordered. Clearly it is deceptive, the person is a male or female biologically. If they “feel” they are not, they are deceived. This is a mental issue, it needs help. If it has a biological component, such as hormone issues, it still may preclude that person marrying. We do not know the origins of some of these disorders, they are a result of a fallen world. We must be charitable and compassionate, but the truth remains the truth. They are biologically the sex they were born as. They are not a different sex.

So, such a person may not be a candidate for marriage.

This is apparently so. The church has more tolerance towards difference in gender roles than you might think.

I think the deeper issue is the church’s stand on those born with ambiguous genitalia. To be consistent, I would think that repair would have to move towards genetic gender.

What if Fredrika used to be Fred and now wants to marry Jane? I’ve heard of such cases. Would this be regarded as a homosexual relationship by the Church?

I don’t know if the Church would need to *classify *it as anything.

Such a marriage is *not possible *as they cannot give valid consent to the three essential properties of marriage nor can they overcome the physical impossibility of having intercourse ordered to procreation. This person has, in essence, rendered themselves canonically impotent. And, someone who has already undergone reassignment surgery would likely also have impediments related to their mental state.

Well in that case, that means they were just confused in the past, which is not necessarily the same because technically it would be a straight relationship.

EDIT: Oh wait, you meant as them still being trans rather than just a phase, correct?.

Okay, well that’s different. I’m not sure. Good question.

Depends. If their real gender is a man, then they can still get married to a woman. They will never be treated as a woman.

I’m not sure though how the Church would treat such a case if there was sex-change surgery. I mean, they will still be treated as with their real gender, but I don’t know if for example a man had his parts removed, if he will be allowed to marry.

Your only gender is the one you were born with and the Church will always treat you as that.

In such as case, this person would be canonically impotent. They would not be a candidate for marriage.

Well its not just getting things ‘removed’. They actually construct the guy female genitalia. So technically he does have girl parts after the surgery. So in this case, would this mean that marriage would be allowed because he is now a female and able to consummate the marriage with his husband?

a) He does not have girl parts.

b) He no longer has his own parts

Asked already and answered already: No.

A person who is biological a male can only marry a person who is biologically a female. What you propose here is a same sex marriage-- a biological male marrying a biological male. It cannot be done.

Actually, during the gender re-assignment surgery they mold his parts and shape them into female genitalia. So yes, after the surgery he does have female parts. Not a uterus, but he has the birth canal and the other parts. Not going to list them but I’m sure you know whats down there.

And that is what he will walk out with. They are also able to get breast implants.

They are not actual girl parts. They are fake girl parts.

Its a bit difficult due to the very nature of the subject. Most transsexuals, particularly after surgery, want to be identified as they are living. This means that they tend not to publicly announce that they are transsexual and they seek to avoid controversy. So news articles about marriages involving a transsexual are fairly non-existent.

The exception would be court challenges and individuals who are in the public light. One example would be Jacqueline-Charlotte Dufresnoy, the French entertainer who sometimes used the stage name Coccinelle. She was married in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris in 1960

Otherwise, reports tend to be anecdotal. Here at CAF we used to have a member who stated she had married in the Church and had her baptismal record corrected. But both of those things happened in the 1990s, before the secret Vatican document was issued.

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