Good news, from Florida of all places
Transsexual man wins child custody battle
From the AP ("Florida transsexual man gets child custody")
A judge Friday granted child custody to a female-to-male transsexual engaged in a bitter divorce and ruled that the person is a man under Florida law.This is a REALLY GOOD THING. Kantaras' ex-wife's argument that their marriage was invalid because "Kantaras was not legally a man when they married" (even though she was well-aware Michael was born biologically female) reminds me of all the nasty court battles Randall Kennedy writes about in his new book about interracial sex, marriage, and adoption, Interracial Intimacies. The following example is from a recent interview on Africana.com:
The ruling confirms Michael Kantaras, who was born female, is the legal parent of the couple's two children, a boy whom he adopted and a daughter she conceived during their marriage with donated sperm.
Lawyers for Kantaras' former wife had argued that Kantaras was not legally a man when they married in 1989 so the marriage was invalid.
"I'm so relieved," Michael Kantaras said after the ruling. "Now my kids and I can get on with our lives in peace."
I was surprised by the amount of case law stemming from the enforcement of anti-miscegenation laws. I mean, I knew there had been anti-miscegenation laws, but I had never seen much written about the enforcement of such laws... White man wants to get rid of the wife, wants to get rid of the wife without paying alimony, child support, says, "This woman, unbeknownst to me, is actually colored under state law. Therefore we were never legally married."I wonder how awful the children of marriages like that must have felt--just as I wonder how Kantaras' kids must have felt to hear their mother arguing that they shouldn't see their dad because he wasn't legally male when they were married.
Don't imagine I'm all excited about Florida now, though. They still ban gay and lesbian people from adopting, among other things...