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