Pregnant man wanting divorce awaits ruling on legitimacy of marriage under Arizona law

‘Pregnant man’ Thomas Beatie is seeking a divorce from wife Nancy, but the presiding judge has questioned whether the marriage was ever legal in Arizona because Beatie is transgender.

Beatie, who was born a woman, made headlines four years ago when he became pregnant when his wife Nancy couldn’t have children. He has since given birth to three children.

This has led to Judge Douglas Gerlach, who is overseeing divorce proceedings between Beatie and Nancy, to query the validity of the marriage in the first place. This is because under Arizona law same-sex marriage is not legally recognised, and by giving birth, Beatie – although legally a man – has done something that only women, or at least people born as women, can do.

The judge wrote the following in the court record:

“It appears that, by any reasonable standard, (Beatie) was the biological mother of those children at the times they were born. As such, parties’ marriage was between a female and a person capable of giving birth, who later did so.”

Gerlach asked the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for an opinion regarding the validity of the marriage but they declined to offer one. Gerlach is therefore left to make the decision alone and a ruling is not expected until early February.

Beatie has called the judge’s decision to protract the case frustrating and said:

“I live my life, I know who I am and someone else’s opinion, even though it is a Judge’s opinion is not going to change that. I am Thomas, I am husband, I am father, I am a man, hear me roar”.

Photo by  trollhare via Flickr.com under a Creative Commons license

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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2 comments

Chris Cavalo - December 21, 2012 at 3:19pm

This is a woman. Stop referring to HER with male pronouns.

Marilyn Stowe - December 21, 2012 at 4:10pm

Chris
It’s Xmas…anythings possible….(!)
Regards
Marilyn

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