In 2008, Thomas Beatie shot to fame all over the world due to his male pregnancy. He became pregnant after agreeing to carry a child for his wife who was unable to carry a child following a hysterectomy. At the time of his pregnancy Beatie had been living as a man since his twenties. He is legally male, but, as is common with transgender individuals, he had opted to keep his female reproductive organs. He has legally changed his gender, name and has had a double mastectomy. During the pregnancy he halted the masculine hormone treatments that he takes to suppress his female reproductive cycle.

Beatie bore 3 children, conceived via artificial insemination, during the course of his decade long marriage to his wife Nancy. He now wishes to file from divorce from Nancy, whom he married in Hawaii in 2003. When he married Nancy he had already had his gender changed on his birth certificate and had been living life as a man since 1979. He is now in a relationship with a new girlfriend, Amber Nicholas and the ruling has come as a blow to Beatie. He wishes to get the divorce granted through the Arizona courts firstly, so he can prove to his children that his marriage to their mother was legitimate, and secondly so he can potentially remarry in the future without experiencing substantial difficulties.

Under Arizona law, gay marriage is illegal. Therefore, the state does not recognise marriages which do not occur between a man and a woman. In this case a judge has ruled that there was insufficient evidence to confirm that Thomas Beatie was in fact a man at the time of his Hawaiian marriage. Beatie feels the decision is indicative of the state of Arizona’s lack of acceptance towards transgender people and the decision comes as a demoralising blow to the transgender community.

Beatie decided that pursuing divorce proceedings in Arizona would be easier than pursuing them in Hawaii which would have required him to relocate his three children and required him to find a new job back in Hawaii. Unfortunately, divorce proceedings have now turned out to be very difficult. He is not set to let this ruling be the end of the matter though. He holds the decision close to his heart and believes that it is unfair for the judge to have made a ruling of this kind. It is predicted that his estranged wife Nancy will also appeal the judge’s ruling a push for the divorce to be legally finalised.

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