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A heterosexual man in Ecuador legally changed his gender to gain custody of his children because Ecuadoran law favors mothers in custody battles.

René Salinas Ramos is secure in his heterosexuality but he changed his gender legally to take advantage of laws that favor transgender rights.

“As of this moment, I am female. Now I’m also a mom, that’s how I consider myself,” Salinas Ramos told La Voz del Tomebamba outside the Civil Registry office on Dec 30.

“I am very sure of my sexuality. What I have sought is that I want to be a mother, so that I can also give the love and protection of a mother,” Salinas Ramos said.

Salinas Ramos is concerned that his two daughters live in an abusive environment with their mother and that he hasn’t seen his children in over five months, even though he provides for them financially.

“Being a father in this country, Ecuador, is punished and I’m only seen as a provider,” said Salinas Ramos.

Transgender groups are outraged that a man can change his gender just to gain an advantage in a court battle.

“This man’s private matter, to obtain custody of his daughters, isn’t the spirit of the law,” trans activist Diane Rodríguez told VICE World News.

Rodriguez, one of Ecuador’s most prominent trans activists and the national director of the Ecuadorian Federation of Organizations LGBTI, said the court won’t favor him “because it does not make sense that you have changed your gender in the identity document without being a trans person, only with the objective of taking advantage to obtain custody.”