In 2002, Thomas Beatie became a man, according to notes from his doctors. Not long after that he became a husband and then a parent, according to The Arizona Republic. Beatie’s gender and legitimacy of his marriage is being questioned by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge. The reason for this is that after he was legally declared male, Beatie gave birth to three children.
Beatie was born a woman and is from Phoenix. Beatie had his upper body changed, had male-hormone therapy and had a psychologist declare that he was psychologically a male. Beatie still carries female reproductive organs. He married his girlfriend and had children because she could not.
Beatie and wife Nancy, married for nine years, are attempting to divorce. Douglas Gerlach is the family court judge assigned to the case. Gerlach is not sure if he has jurisdiction because of Arizona law. The law says that marriage is between a man and a woman. The state does not permit same-sex marriage and does not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
Beatie legally changed his driver’s license and birth certificate to say he is a man and was allowed to legally marry as a man. In the court record, Gerlach wrote the following, “In other words, it appears that, by any reasonable standard, (Beatie) was the biological mother of those children at the times they were born. As such, parties’ marriage was between a female and a person capable of giving birth, who later did so.”
When he spoke to The Arizona Republic, Beatie said, “I’m clearly a man: socially, legally, psychologically, physically — the whole ball of wax.”
Gerlach has asked for an opinion fromt he Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which declined to get involved in the case.
“I was surprised at the remarkable indifference I received,” Gerlach said in open court Friday. He now has to make the decision, which could come sometime in February.
“It has to do with a person’s reproductive rights,” Beatie said in the courthouse.
Beatie was born in 1974 in Oahu, Hawaii as a woman named Tracy Lehuanani Lagondino. Tracy started testosterone therapy in 1997 and was “determined to have male gender identification” after psychological tests. The first surgery was performed in 2002, which was a double mastectomy that included nipple resizing and recontouring of the chest. Tracy’s new legal name is Thomas Trace Beatie.
“It’s a normal divorce,” said Michael Clancy, who represents Beatie. The lawyer for Nancy, David Higgins, agrees.
“The bottom line is, we’re husband and wife,” Nancy said, “and we want to get a divorce.”