Thomas Beatie, a legally recognized transgender man, kept his female reproductive organs in order to give birth to his three children.
Beatie, known as “The Pregnant Man” wrote a book, “Labor Of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy” and was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. As well as being granted a spot on Barbara Walters’ 2008 “10 Most Fascinating People” list, he is now being denied the right to divorce.
Beatie, a Hawaiian native, was married to his wife, Nancy Beatie, in Honolulu, in 2003.
At the time of the wedding Beatie was legally a man. In addition to sporting facial hair and bearing a surgically flat chest, Beatie is legally recognized as male on his drivers license and birth certificate.
When he applied, and was issued, a male birth certificate, Beatie was not required to disclose that he still had female reproductive organs. Beatie’s wife, Nancy, was unable to become pregnant, so Beatie halted hormone treatments in order to artificially inseminate and give birth to their three children, ages, 2-, 3- and 4-years-old.
Since their marriage in Hawaii, the couple moved to Arizona, where they have filed for divorce. However, Arizona has denied their request for divorce, because Arizona does not recognize their marriage in the first place, claiming that it is a same-sex marriage, explained Nancy’s attorney, David Higgins.
Judge Douglas Gerlach of the Maricopa County Family Court ruled that the Beatie marriage was unrecognized, however he granted each parent joint authority in regards to their children.
Since their marriage was considered null and void, Nancy Beatie will not receive alimony, but Beatie will be required to pay child support.
However, in opposition to Higgins’ claim, Judge Gerlach explained that the couple’s same-sex standing was not at the forefront of his ruling.
“The decision here is not based on the conclusion that this case involves a same-sex marriage merely because one of the parties is a transsexual male, but instead, the decision is compelled by the fact that the parties failed to prove that (Thomas Beatie) was a transsexual male when they were issued their marriage license,” Gerlach said in comments published in South Florida Gay News.
However, Beatie was legally recognized as a man when he was married, and there was no requirement stating that he needed to disclose which reproductive organs he maintained, when applying for his male birth certificate.
Beatie plans on appealing the case, said spokesperson, Ryan Gordon.