A transgender Arizona man will make an appeal after being denied a divorce by a judge on the grounds that the state does not recognize same-sex marriage.
During a 9-year marriage to a woman named Nancy, Thomas Beatie gave birth to all three of the couple's children. Beatie at the time had already begun to undergo sex transformation surgery, but intentionally left the female reproductive organs intact. After three kids, they split, and Beatie filed for divorce before meeting his current girlfriend, Amber Nicholas.
A judge ruled on Friday, however, that Beatie could not officially obtain a divorce because he did not make the specifics of his gender clear at the time of his marriage, which took place in Hawaii.
"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, but instead, the decision is compelled by the fact that the parties failed to prove that (Thomas Beatie) was a transsexual male when they were issued their marriage license," Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach wrote in his ruling.
Afterwards Beatie announced his plans to appeal the judge's ruling. He was awarded a new birth certificate in Hawaii, which declares he is a man. Because of the "non-existent" marriage, Beatie's former wife will receive child support, but does not qualify for alimony.
Last year Beatie, whose three children are five and under, admitted the he and his current girlfriend were looking forward to having another child.
"Amber and I are totally smitten. We would love kids together and we're already discussing it," Beatie told the Daily Mail during a 2012 interview. "I would love another girl so I have two of each. But any kid is a blessing."
Despite more recent work to complete his sex change in February, Beatie is still able to get pregnant and has stated that he would be willing to step in if necessary.
"It's just about which one of us would be more successful at having a baby," explained Beatie. "It's even possible we could both be pregnant at the same time. Amber suggested we both try to get pregnant and whoever gets there first goes through with it."