PHOENIX — An Arizona man who gained national attention for giving birth after having a sex-change operation, has hit a snag in his divorce proceedings because the presiding judge has questioned whether the marriage was ever legal in Arizona because he is transgender.
Thomas Beatie, who was born a woman, made headlines four years ago when he became pregnant when his wife Nancy couldn’t have children.
He hit the talk-show circuit, touting himself as “The Pregnant Man,” posing for photos with his beard and his very pregnant belly — he has since given birth to three children.
Now, the Beaties are eager to end their nine-year marriage, but their divorce plans stalled when Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach said he is not certain he has jurisdiction, because in Arizona same-sex marriage is forbidden, and the state does not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, reported the Arizona Republic.
Beatie was legally allowed to change his birth certificate and driver’s license to say he is a man, and was legally allowed to get married as a man.
But in court records, Gerlach wrote, “It appears that, by any reasonable standard, (Beatie) was the biological mother of those children at the times they were born. As such, parties’ marriage was between a female and a person capable of giving birth, who later did so.”
Gerlach said in court last Friday that he asked the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for an opinion as to whether Beatie’s was a valid or a same-sex — and consequently invalid — marriage, but the AG declined to weigh in.
Gerlach said he would reach a decision in the case by early February.