‘Pregnant Man’ Divorce; Thomas Beatie Says His Transgender Marriage Was Legal, Arizona Judge Says No

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 4, 2013 11:50 AM EDT

Pregnant Man Divorce
Thoma Beatie, seen here with child, is fighting an Arizona court for the right to divorce his wife. (Photo: Facebook)

The 'pregnant man' divorce trial sounds like sensationalized TV, but in reality it is about the rights of transgender people in a shifting political landscape. Thomas Beatie, the "pregnant man" is seeking divorce from his wife Nancy. The pair were legally married in Hawaii in 2003. Beatie became known as the "pregnant man" because he was born a woman and carried the couple's children after he had undergone treatment to change his gender. The couple have three children, and the "pregnant man" was profiled in a Discovery Health TV show called "Pregnant Man."

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Now the "pregnant man"'s divorce from Nancy is being contested by an Arizona judge on the grounds that Thomas Beatie lacked sufficient evidence to prove he was legally a man at the time of his marriage. Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach cited the break in Thomas Beatie's hormone treatments while he was pregnant.

"Parties have failed to show that the word 'man' in the state constitution means anything different from its plain, ordinary meaning, which by any generally accepted definition or reputable dictionary excludes people capable of giving birth," Gerlach wrote in his ruling dismissing the "pregnant man" divorce case.

Beatie's lawyers argue that he had legal documents identifying him as a man before he married Nancy in Honolulu. The "pregnant man" had already had his breasts removed and begun hormone therapy at the time of the wedding, he only decided to stop the therapy once the couple learned Nancy could not conceive children. The "pregnant man" divorce needs to happen in Arizona as moving back to Hawaii to re-establish residency just to get a divorce is "not practical," said Beatie. He also bristles against the idea of a judge telling him he's not a father because he doesn't have enough paperwork proving he was a man when he got married.

"Imagine what this is doing to my children," Beatie said. "In time, they are going to look back and see that a court said that's not your daddy. I'm sorry, that's who I am. I am my children's father."

Nancy Beatie likely will appeal the "pregnant man" divorce decision as well, since it also prevents her from moving forward with her life.

"Obviously, she is very disappointed the judge did not find the marriage to be valid," her lawyer David Higgins told ABCNews.com. "She understood herself to be married, believed Thomas to be a man, and we will probably join Thomas in moving forward with an appeal in that regard."

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