Thomas Beatie, the transgender Arizona man who was dubbed “pregnant man” after giving birth to his three children, is fighting for a divorce from his former partner of nine years after an Arizona judge ruled there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that the marriage was valid to begin with.
According to the Daily Mail, Judge Douglas Gerlach, who presided over the case, said that Beatie had not provided adequate evidence that he was a man when he got married to his wife, Nancy Beatie. Among the judge’s complaints were that Beatie had not disclosed precisely what measures he had or had not taken to become a man and additionally that Beatie had suspended hormone treatments in order to get pregnant. The couple were married in Hawaii in 2003 but filed for divorce in Arizona, which does not legally recognize gay marriage.
Gerlach wrote, "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.”
Beatie conceived and gave birth to his three children using donated sperm after his wife discovered that she was unable to bear children. Although the ruling would mean that Beatie would not have to pay his spouse alimony, Beatie has said that paying alimony wouldn’t bother him as long as it would legitimatize his marriage.
“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.”
“This obviously is not Beatie versus Beatie,” he added, speaking to reporters. “This is the state of Arizona versus transgender people, human reproductive rights and fairness under law.”
Beatie said that he believes the judge’s ruling is indicative of Arizona’s rejection of transgender people, citing a recent state proposal to protect businesses from being sued if they prohibit patrons from using restrooms that don’t accord with the sex on their birth certificate.
David Cantor, the attorney representing Beatie, said that the ruling was frustrating for his client and especially for his girlfriend, Amber Nicholas, who appeared with him as he spoke to reporters. "She doesn't want to be dating a married man," Cantor said.
"If they get married, this judge would call it a same-sex marriage not acknowledging Thomas as a man," Cantor added. "Hawaii regards Thomas as still being married."
Nancy Beatie’s attorney, David Higgins, told reporters that if Beatie appealed the decision his client would likely join him, according to ABC News. "Obviously, she is very disappointed the judge did not find the marriage to be valid," Higgins said. "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."
Cantor said that Beatie plans to appeal the ruling and will decide by Friday whether or not to take his case to Arizona's State Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court.