Quantcast

Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 5 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Transgender man is denied divorce after 9-year marriage is invalidated

By Associated Press

POSTED:


PHOENIX » An Arizona judge Friday refused to grant a divorce for a transgender man originally from Hawaii who gave birth to three children after beginning to change his sex from female.

Maricopa County Family Court Judge Doug­las Gerlach ruled that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriages prevents Thomas Beatie's nine-year union from being recognized as valid.

Thomas Beatie was born a woman and later underwent a double mastectomy. He began testosterone hormone therapy and psychological treatment to become a man, but he retained female reproductive organs and gave birth to three children.

Gerlach said he had no jurisdiction to approve a divorce because there's insufficient evidence that Beatie was a man when he married Nancy Beatie in Hawaii. He said the Beaties never provided records to fully explain what Thomas Beatie had done and not done to become a man.

"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," he wrote in Friday's ruling.

A spokesman for Beatie, Ryan Gordon, said the judge's comments came as a shock and that Beatie plans to appeal the ruling. He said Beatie legally was married as a man and never was required to disclose that he retained female reproductive organs when applying for and being granted a new birth certificate in Hawaii as a man. He said Beatie halted testosterone treatments so that he could give birth to his children.

"It's unfortunate that the judge out here doesn't recognize marriage in another state," Gordon said.

Beatie is eager to end his marriage, but the couple's divorce plans stalled last summer when Gerlach said he was unable to find legal authority defining a man as someone who can give birth.

Gerlach's ruling didn't address whether Arizona law allows a person who was born female to marry another female after undergoing a sex change operation.

A separate ruling issued Friday by Gerlach sets guidelines on how the Beaties will co-parent their three children and grants them joint authority in making legal decisions. Thomas Beatie is required to pay nearly $240 a month to Nancy Beatie for child support, but she won't get alimony because the marriage was declared invalid.

Nancy Beatie's attorney, David Higgins, praised Gerlach for the thoroughness of the decision on the marriage, although it wasn't the one she had hoped for.

"He still sees a same-sex marriage, but he gave us all the rulings that we're asking for as far as the children," Higgins said.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, which isn't involved in the Beatie divorce case, has said courts have declared marriages involving a transgender person invalid in a handful of cases across the country but that those cases had different factual and legal issues from those in the Beatie case.

Thomas Beatie, known as "The Pregnant Man," was born Tracy Lehua­nani Lagon­dino on Oahu. He began testosterone treatments in 1997 and underwent double mastectomy and chest reconstruction surgery in 2002. He changed his Hawaii driver's license to say he was a man and had a Hawaii court approve his name change to Thomas.

Gerlach's ruling noted that Thomas Beatie halted the testosterone treatments and that he didn't provide documentation for any additional nonsurgical efforts.

Thomas Beatie married his partner Nancy in early 2003 in Hono­lulu and became pregnant because Nancy was unable to have children. Thomas Beatie conceived with donated sperm and gave birth to children who are now 4, 3 and 2 years old. The couple eventually moved to Arizona.

Beatie has garnered a range of media attention, making the rounds on talk shows such as Larry King and Oprah Winfrey and winning a spot on Barbara Walters' list of "10 Most Fascinating People" in 2008. He also published a book, "Labor of Love: The Story of One Man's Extraordinary Pregnancy," the cover displaying an image of a shirtless Thomas sporting facial hair and holding a hand over his bare pregnant belly.






 Print   Email   Comment | View 5 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(5)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
hikine wrote:
She wasn't a complete man, she had a mangina! She may looked like a man but she still had woman sex organs. Who are they trying to fool by saying she is now a man! The judge is correct with his decision.
on March 30,2013 | 03:53AM
Malani wrote:
Finally a judge calling a spade a spade. What is it that the defense don't understand? Further, even common sense prevails that only women can give birth. So wishful thinking has no role in this case.
on March 30,2013 | 08:22AM
allie wrote:
yikes...so confusing/...
on March 30,2013 | 08:49AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Wow..... what confused souls. He wants to be mommy and daddy I guess. Crazy!
on March 30,2013 | 04:32PM
lokahiblaze wrote:
Apparently, this is the new normalcy in America.
on March 30,2013 | 06:25PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Latest News/Updates