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15 March 2014

Leslie Phillips (194?–) lawyer.

Ralph Plotkin was a law student in Philadelphia when in 1969 he met and married Tamara. He graduated and became a lawyer, while Tamara pursued a career in urban planning. They purchased a house together.

In 1974 Tamara came home to find her husband in female attire. He said that he was a transvestite, it was not normal and he was trying to overcome it. Such did nor recur, until July 1977 when on a weekend trip to New York, Ralph announced that he was transsexual and had been on female hormones since the previous December. For a few months Tamara accompanied her husband, dressed as female, to various social events, but by October it was obvious that they could no longer co-habit.

In December Tamara filed for divorce, Leslie Phillips (as Ralph had become) moved into an apartment, and made substantial withdrawals from a joint bank deposit (that had been a gift from Tamara's mother). Further Phillips made harassing telephone calls with threats demanding that Tamara pay Phillips' bills.

In September 1979, Phillips petitioned the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County for support in that a spouse is obliged to care for a partner suffering from a mental disorder. The judge ruled a) that the petitioner's behavior "constituted conduct on petitioner's part within the standard enunciated above sufficient to obviate petitioner's right to support", b) "the prevailing viewpoint seems to be that transsexuals are psychologically healthy individuals" c) "petitioner's conduct was violative of the marital contract between the parties; that the specific acts described herein and attributed to petitioner were 'humiliating and degrading, inconsistent with the [respondent's] position as a wife,' that these acts together with petitioner's consummation of the alteration of petitioner's sexual characteristics constituted a course of conduct 'of such character as to render the condition of any woman of ordinary sensibility and delicacy of feeling intolerable and her life burdensome'; that petitioner's conduct manifested a spirit of malevolence, settled hate and estrangement toward respondent, and that respondent had adequate legal cause to quit the marital domicile".

*Not the actor.

I think that the important point here is the judge's point B:  transsexuals are psychologically healthy individuals.   Transsexuality is not a pathology.

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