A transgender man who attracted worldwide media attention by giving birth to three children can divorce his wife, a judge has ruled.
Thomas Beatie was born a woman but underwent gender reassignment in the late 1990s. The couple lived in Oregon at the time and he was allowed to change his birth certificate and other official documentation to reflect his new gender.
However, Beatie retained the ability to have children and became pregnant in 2007when it emerged that his wife could not do.
She adopted the children. In 2012, the couple separated but they ran into legal problems when seeking a divorce, as same sex marriage is not recognised in Arizona.
In March last year, their divorce was blocked by a family court judge in Maricopa County, an area which includes the Arizona state capital Phoenix. He ruled that Beatie had failed to show that he was male when the couple wed.
That decision has now been overturned by the Arizona Court of Appeals. They ruled this week that the divorce could proceed, because the couple’s 2003 marriage in Hawaii was valid and lawful.
Judge Kenton D Jones said:
“As the Beatie’s Hawaii marriage was lawfully entered in Hawaii and is not deemed void by Arizona law, the marriage is valid within this state.”
According to reports, Beatie plans to marry his current girlfriend.
In July the European Court of Human Rights ruled that requiring a transsexual to change her marital status does not constitute a violation of her rights.
Photo by trollhare via Flickr