TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A one-of-a-kind marriage between two females has sparked controversy in Florida. This same-sex marriage couple used a Texas court ruling against itself to marry, making their situation a one of a kind in the U.S.
The marriage has been one of the biggest blessings and biggest obstacles for Kim and Carolyn Van der Linde. That's because Kim was born a male.
"I started out maybe feeling a little odd about it because, yeah, it is a little bit different," said Carolyn. "But after a while, I just realized this is the one, so does it matter?"
After dating for three years, the couple decided to take the next step and tie the knot.
Although Florida laws ban same-sex marriage, the couple decided to challenge a similar Texas law.
"How you're born is what you are, whether you're transgender or not, it doesn't matter, and that basically told me we can get married there as a heterosexual couple," Kim said.
Kim, who is a research biologist at Florida State University, was able to prove under Texas law that their marriage is fact legal. That's because she has male chromosomes while her wife has female chromosomes.
The couple found a judge to marry them as a heterosexual couple in San Antonio, Texas.
"We went in and she was like, 'OK.' It was very awkward because I was addressed as mister," Kim said.
However, the Van der Linde's marriage isn't recognized in Florida since the state considers them a same-sex couple, not a heterosexual couple like Texas.
"Loopholes, contradictions and discrimination, and that makes for bad policy," said Elizabeth Ricci, the couple's attorney.
Two weeks ago Kim, who is from the Netherlands, finally received her green card allowing her to stay in Florida with Carolyn, making this bi-national couple's marriage one of the most unique in the country.
The 1999 Texas court case had nullified a marriage between a male and a transgender female saying the chromosomes a person is born with is the gender a person is, even after a sex change. That was what made the marriage between the Kim and Carolyn possible.