Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-03-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Legal victory in transgendered rights: F to M's marriage to woman upheld
by Deb Price
2003-03-05

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Eighteen years ago, Margot Kantaras was a frightened 24-year-old woman feeding quarters into a pay phone, frantically trying to track down a Texas clinic that she'd heard could change her into the man she'd always felt she truly was.

No longer a woman and no longer frightened, Michael -- who left his former Margot identity behind in Texas after surgery and hormones -- recently won the most significant legal victory to date in the newly emerging area of transgendered rights.

Ruling in a bitter divorce and child-custody dispute, a Florida judge on Feb. 21 affirmed that Michael's 1989 marriage to a woman was legal and then took the extraordinary step of granting Michael primary custody of the couple's two children.

"The case took nearly five years, but I am happy and eternally relieved for the children," says Michael, a meat department manager. "Everybody has made this such a big case. But from my perspective, we are a normal family. And now we can get on with our lives."

The breakup battle between Michael and his now ex-wife, Linda, was vicious even by the notoriously cruel standards set by so many of the estranged couples who end up in American courtrooms.

And Judge Gerard J. O'Brien deserves a hearty round of applause -- not because he happened to end up siding with the wishes of a transgendered parent but because of how sensibly he dealt both with the reality that Michael has changed his gender and that it's in the two children's best interests to have strong relationships with their father, as well as their mother.

In deciding that the children should live with Michael, the judge stressed that Michael, unlike his ex-wife, wants the children to be close to both parents. The judge pointed to a mountain of evidence indicating that Linda tried to destroy Michael's connection to their children by, for example, starting to refer to him as "he/she/it."

Linda knew Michael was transgendered when she married him, according to court documents. Nevertheless, she tried to have their marriage declared invalid after he filed for divorce. She also sought custody of both of their children -- a son, whom Michael adopted after the boy's biological father abandoned Linda during pregnancy, and a daughter, born through artificial insemination with sperm donated by Michael's brother.

Linda apparently developed an uncontrollable hatred for Michael after he told her that he'd developed "feelings" for her best friend. And Linda proceeded to tell the unsuspecting children that their father had been born biologically female.

After a televised three-week trial, the first to include extensive expert testimony about the medical and psychological aspects of being transgendered, O'Brien handed down a staggering 809-page opinion. (See: www.nclrights.org)

"When judges have the chance to understand what it is like for someone to be born in the wrong body, to understand how much people suffer and how the treatment turns them around, they will do the right thing," said co-counsel Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Before Michael's victory, marriages involving transgendered people had been upheld in California and New Jersey. But in Texas and Kansas, they were declared invalid: A transgendered widow had unsuccessfully tried to sue a doctor for medical malpractice over her husband's death; a son inherited his father's estate by having the man's marriage to a transgendered woman nullified.

"(Michael's) case will have an extraordinary impact," Minter predicts. "In addition to all the medical testimony, there was testimony about transgendered people's ability to be good parents."

Fortunately, as society's understanding grows, we can expect to see many more rulings that respect the legal rights of transgendered men and women.

Deb Price of The Detroit News writes the first nationally syndicated column on gay issues and is the co-author of "Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court." To find out more about Deb Price and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com .

COPYRIGHT 2003 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoes anti-LGBTQ "License to Discriminate" bills 2017-03-23
Attorney General Madigan pushes to strengthen Illinois hate crimes law 2017-03-22
PFLAG official talks transgender workplace support 2017-03-22
Trans veteran running for board position at Illinois college 2017-03-22
'More Than a Letter,' Picnic present queer voices this spring 2017-03-22
Pride Films and Plays announces the Great Trans* Play Contest^ 2017-03-21
National: Trans-inclusive sorority, agender activist, Athlete Ally 2017-03-21
World: Murder suspects nabbed, new anti-HIV drug, Japan's first trans male official 2017-03-21
South Side trans woman reported missing 2017-03-20
Evanston High School committee to send locker room policy to full board 2017-03-17
Transgender Women of Color to Rally on National Day of Action to End Violence 2017-03-16
Ways To Take Action To #ProtectTransWomen Today 2017-03-15
Comptroller to honor trans woman of color 2017-03-15
Committee sends transgender ID-marker bill to House 2017-03-15
Entertainment: Laverne Cox, Katy Perry, Justin Hartley, Women's Day backers 2017-03-14
National roundup: #ProtectTransWomen, Black AIDS Institute, soccer incident 2017-03-14
Equality Illinois PAC endorses in District 211 School Board Races 2017-03-13
Community supports suburban trans students 2017-03-09
Cast of Amazon Series 'Transparent' Releases PSA Urging Support for Gavin Grimm 2017-03-09
Iowa House Passes Voter ID Bill Disenfranchising Transgender Voters 2017-03-09
Murders of trans women of color in 2017 getting poor news coverage 2017-03-09
TGNCLGBTSQ coalition calls for Day of Action to protect trans women, femmes 2017-03-08
Lambda Legal looks ahead to Title VII decisions 2017-03-08
Parents of trans child fight DCFS for custody 2017-03-07
World news: Gay Games, trans killings, Italian partner ruling 2017-03-07
Grimm vows to keep fighting in court 2017-03-06
SCOTUS sends Grimm case back to lower court 2017-03-06
DCFS, Advocate accused of misgendering trans child 2017-03-05
March for transgender rights and liberation makes history in Chicago 2017-03-04
Yelp helps find gender neutral restrooms, joins amicus brief supporting Grimm 2017-03-03
Attorney General Madigan files amicus brief in Supreme Court in trans rights case 2017-03-03
101 transgender Americans voice support as Gavin Grimm's case heads to Supreme Court 2017-03-03
Quigley, House LGBT Caucus re-launch Transgender Equality Task Force 2017-03-02
Nat'l leaders, groups, individuals file briefs in Supreme Court supporting trans rights 2017-03-02
Jaquarrius Holland, Black transgender woman, killed in Louisiana 2017-03-01
Trans Liberation protest March 3 2017-03-01
Trans multimedia project announced 2017-03-01
Federal Court Tells High School to Let Transgender Students Use the Bathroom 2017-02-28
Ciara McElveen, Black transgender New Orleans woman, 6th reported 2017 killing 2017-02-28
Opportunities open for multimedia project for Int'l Transgender Day of Visibility 2017-02-27
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.