Kantaras v. Kantaras
884 So.2d 155 (2004)

  • Michael and Linda met and fell in love. They applied for and received a marriage license, and Michael adopted Linda's child. Linda later had another child via artificial insemination.
  • A few years later Michael filed for divorce, and requested custody of the two children. Linda countered by asking for an annulment.
    • Turns out Michael had been born a woman and had undergone a sex change! (which Linda was fully aware of).
      • Betcha didn't see that coming.
    • Linda argued that the marriage was void an initio because they were of the same-sex, and Florida did not allow same-sex marriage.
      • In addition, Florida did not allow homosexuals to adopt, and neither child was biologically Michael's.
  • The Trial Court denied the annulment. Linda appealed.
    • The Trial Court found that, under Florida State law, Michael was legally a male at the time of the marriage. Therefore it was not void.
  • The Appellate Court reversed and declared the marriage void ab initio.
    • The Appellate Court found that in Florida Statutes, the term 'sex' should refer to "immutable traits determined at birth." (e.g. chromosomes).
      • Michael, as well as some medical experts, argued that sex is more than just genetics, but the Court disagreed with that approach.
    • The Court suggested that this is a matter of public policy and it was up to the Florida Legislature to decide the issue, not the courts.
  • As of 2008, New Jersey is the only State that allows for valid marriages of transsexuals (as non-same sex marriages).
    • The New Jersey case is M.T. v. J.T. (355 A.2d 204 (1976)).
    • See cf. In re Ladrach (513 N.E.2d 828 (1987)), In re Estate of Gardiner (442 P.3d 120 (2002)), and Littleton v. Prange (9 S.W.3d 223 (1999)).