BAYONET POINT, Fla. February 27, 2003 ( – A retired county judge has given a post-operative transsexual woman custody over two young children. The judge found that the woman, Margo Kantaras, who has had breast-removal surgery and hormone therapy and now calls herself “Michael,” is legally a man.  The natural mother, Linda Kantaras, admitted in court that she married “Michael” in 1989 knowing that she had been born a woman. Now, she says the marriage was never valid and that she should have protective custody over the children.  But Pasco County Judge Gerard O’Brien ruled: “Chromosomes are only one factor in the determination of sex and they do not overrule gender or self-identity which is the true test or identifying mark of sex. … Michael [sic] has always, for a lifetime, had a self-identity as a male.” Thus, the marriage being legal, he said the two must share custody and awarded her visitation rights to Matthew, 13, and Irina, 11, every other weekend.  The mother’s lawyer warned that the case would be “like a barnyard door coming open. If Michael can be a male because Michael thinks he is a male, and because of some surgery, your honor, then we’re headed for big trouble … It will create utter chaos.”  For newswire coverage:   For related coverage in which an Australian family court upheld a transsexual “marriage” see:  AUSTRALIAN COURT REJECTS GOV’T ANNULMENT OF TRANSSEXUAL ‘MARRIAGE’


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