US & Canada

Court refuses 'pregnant man' Thomas Beatie's divorce

Thomas Beatie (R), Nancy Beatie and daughter Susan Juliette pictured during the RTL 2008 review show in Cologne, Germany 7 December 2008
Image caption The Beaties made many media appearances before and after the birth of their first child

An Arizona judge has refused to grant a divorce to a transgender man who gave birth to three children.

The judge said there was insufficient evidence that Thomas Beatie was male when he married; the state bans same-sex marriage.

In 2008, Mr Beatie, who had lived as a man for decades, gave birth to a girl, the first of three pregnancies.

He is legally male but kept his female reproductive organs and bore children because his wife was infertile.

A spokesman for Mr Beatie, Ryan Gordon, said Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach's comments came as a shock. He said his client, who hopes to marry his current girlfriend, planned to appeal the ruling.

"It's unfortunate that the judge out here doesn't recognise marriage in another state,'' Mr Gordon said.

'Whole ball of wax'

In his ruling, Judge Gerlach wrote that the couple had failed to prove Mr Beatie was a male when they were married.

"The decision here is not based on the conclusion that this case involves a same-sex marriage merely because one of the parties is a transsexual male," he wrote.

Mr Beatie began taking testosterone in 1979 and underwent a double mastectomy in 2002. His birth certificate was changed to male at the same time.

He and his wife Nancy married a year later in Hawaii.

Mr Gordon said Mr Beatie, 39, was legally married as a man and never was required to disclose that he retained female reproductive organs when applying for the birth certificate in Hawaii as a man.

Mr Beatie halted testosterone treatments so he could give birth to his children after the couple found out his wife could not get pregnant.

"I'm clearly a man: socially, legally, psychologically, physically - the whole ball of wax," Mr Beatie told the Arizona Republic in December.

Nancy Beatie's lawyer David Higgins said Judge Gerlach's decision was thorough but not the one she had hoped for.

"He still sees a same-sex marriage, but he gave us all the rulings that we're asking for as far as the children,'' Mr Higgins said.

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