A three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals has recognized the marriage of a transgender man as valid.

Thomas Beatie, who grabbed headlines in 2008 when he gave birth to his first child, Susan Juliette, last year filed for divorce from his wife, Nancy Beatie.

The Beaties exchanged vows in Hawaii but now live in Arizona.

The court overturned Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach's ruling declaring the marriage invalid because Arizona does not recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Gerlach concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove Thomas was a man when he married Nancy, even though his driver's license and birth certificate were changed and listed him as male, the AP reported.

Thomas Beatie, a beauty queen in his former life, had sex reassignment surgery in 2002, but opted to keep his reproductive sexual organs. He then legally changed his birth certificate from Tracy to Thomas and married Nancy, a divorced mother of two, in 2003. The couple decided he should get pregnant after learning that Nancy was unable to bear another child due to a hysterectomy.

Two more children, Austin Alexander and Jensen James, followed.

The Transgender Law Center submitted an amicus brief in the case in support of Thomas Beatie's claims.

“These decisions reflect the simple reality that transgender men are men and transgender women are women, and the law should recognize them as such,” Ilona Turner, legal director of Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “The Arizona Court of Appeals recognized, appropriately, that the U.S. Constitution forbids denying transgender people recognition for their lived gender simply because they exercise their fundamental right to have children.”