Friday, March 29, 2013
A Phoenix court ruled that transgender man Thomas Beatie, who became known as the 'Pregnant Man' late last decade during a whirlwind of television appearances during his first pregnancy, could not divorce from his wife because they could not prove that their Hawaiian marriage was not a same-sex marriage.
From the Arizona Republic:
In December, Beatie told The Arizona Republic, "I'm clearly a man: socially, legally, psychologically, physically — the whole ball of wax."
Judge Douglas Gerlach was not so certain. In a ruling last June, he noted that the “marriage was between a female ... and a person capable of giving birth, who later did so.”
Beatie was born a woman. But in 1979, he began taking testosterone and had a psychologist determine that he identified with the male gender. Then he underwent a double mastectomy in 2002 and had his birth certificate changed to say he was male.
Because his wife, Nancy could not have children, he did. Now he wants a divorce so that he can marry his new girlfriend.
Gerlach denied that request on Friday.
Gerlach wrote in his order that the Beaties had not proven that their marriage is recognizable under Arizona state law, which describes marriage as between a man and a woman, and therefore cannot be legally dissolved.
In Gerlach's decision, he notes concern that equating a double mastectomy with a sex-change operation "would lead to circumstances in which a person’s sex can become a matter of whim and not a matter of any reasonable, objective standard or policy."
At the same time, it's worth repeating that Beatie had his Hawaiian birth certificate legally changed to reflect his current identify — and that his sex (not gender, mind you) is now noted as "male." It's also worth noting that in order to have one's sex changed on a birth certificate in Hawaii (and most other states) a letter confirming sexual reassignment surgery is required from the doctor that performed the surgery:
An amended birth certificate will be prepared upon receipt of an affidavit of a physician that the physician has examined the individual and determined that the individual has had a sex change operation and the sex designation on the individual’s birth certificate is no longer correct, subject to further investigation and submission of additional information if deemed necessary, and payment of fees.
The Republic notes that Beatie's representatives are reviewing the decision and have no comment until next week.