Transgender man denied divorce discusses ruling

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Valley resident better known to the world as the "pregnant man" is speaking out about being denied a divorce even though it is what he and his wife want.

“This is a decision against my person, my identity and my family,” Thomas Beatie said.

Thomas, a transgender man, and his wife, Nancy, married nine years with three children have been denied a divorce because, according to Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach, there was insufficient proof that Thomas was legally a man.

“The judge is viewing this as a same-sex marriage,” said attorney David Cantor. “He's stating the sex change wasn't valid because Thomas wasn't sterilized.”

Thomas, born a woman, underwent a double mastectomy but retained female reproductive organs. He and Nancy got married in Hawaii and ultimately Thomas gave birth to the couple's three children.

“Hawaii doesn't allow a same-sex marriage, same as Arizona,” Cantor said. “Hawaii says if you get a sex change, a valid change with affidavit from the doctor and jump through the hoops then you can get married in Arizona the same way. It's not required in Arizona to be sterilized or get lower surgery to complete a sex change.”

Now, Thomas and Nancy are fighting to validate their marriage so that they can end it. For them it's a matter of principle. They don’t believe the ruling is fair to their children.

“It's bastardizing my children,” Nancy said. “I married him as a man. That's how I’ve always seen him, he's the father of our children and I’m the mother.”

And Thomas isn't willing to give up this fight, wanting to move forward as a man.

“I do plan on marrying my girlfriend and I don't know what the judge expects from us,” Thomas said. “We want to move on with our family and Judge Gerlach is preventing that.”

Thomas and Nancy both intend to appeal. Their attorneys are just trying to decide if they should take this to the Court of Appeals or instead go straight to the Supreme Court.