An appellate court in Arizona has ruled that a transgender man who gave birth to three children can divorce his wife of more than 10 years, Reuters reported.
A three-member panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously decided that the divorce can proceed because Thomas Beatie’s 2003 marriage in Hawaii was considered legal in Arizona.
“As the Beaties’ Hawaii marriage was lawfully entered in Hawaii and is not deemed void by Arizona law, the marriage is valid within this state,” Judge Kenton Jones was qipted as saying in a 12-page opinion.
A Maricopa County Family Court judge had blocked the divorce on the grounds that Beatie had not shown he was a man when he got married in 2003, and thus could not show he and his wife were a heterosexual couple. Same-sex marriages are not recognized as valid in Arizona. The appellate court’s decision overturns the March 2013 ruling.
Beatie, 40, was born a woman, but has lived as a man since his 20s after hormone treatments and surgery to change his gender. Beatie was legally allowed to change his birth certificate and other documents to reflect his being a male.
He first made headlines after stopping the testosterone treatments and deciding to have a baby when his wife was unable to conceive because she had a hysterectomy. He first became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl in 2008. Two other children followed in the next two years.
Beatie filed for divorce in 2012, seeking dissolution of his marriage with plans to marry his new girlfriend.
“People are going to have to get used to the fact that transgender people exist and they deserve the same rights and responsibilities that everyone else have,” Beatie’s lawyer David Michael Cantor told Reuters.
“That includes the right to get married and the right to be divorced and the responsibilities that go along with all that.”
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