On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Same sex/GLBTA on Thursday, August 14, 2014.
One thing about matrimonial lawyer work, it never gets boring. A landmark case yesterday is the first to recognize a transgender person’s right to divorce. It also happens to be the first married, pregnant man’s divorce.
I’ve written about Tom’s case before. He was born a woman named Tracy. She was cute too, and participated in beauty pageants and worked as a model. The first of her surgeries were performed in 2002, and later, Tracy became Tom!
After a court hearing in December 2012, the trial judge ruled that Arizona did not have jurisdiction over Tom’s case and that Tom’s marriage was invalid under Arizona law as a “same-sex marriage.”
But a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned that order, and ruled that Tom’s marriage in Hawaii in 2003 is considered valid in Arizona, and concluded it wasn’t a same-sex union.
The Arizona Court of Appeals held:
We find the Family Court has subject matter jurisdiction to proceed with Beatie’s petition for Dissolution of Marriage and, ultimately, to enter a Decree of Dissolution, and therefore reversed the Family Court’s dismissal of Beatie’s Dissolution petition.
The court focused on the fact that Tom complied with Hawaii’s “clear and unambiguous” statute regarding sex change operations, and obtained a valid Hawaii marriage license.
The court specifically stated “there is no apparent basis in law or fact for the proposition that in the event Thomas gave birth after having modified his gender designation, it would have abrogated his “maleness”, as reflected on the amended birth certificate”.
Tom made headlines in 2008 as the World’s First Married Pregnant Man after being legally recognized as a man in 2002. As a married transgender male, he then gave birth to his three children from 2008 to 2010 and now resides in Arizona.
Tom said, “I feel I have finally been recognized in Arizona as not just a man, but a human being.”
You can read more about the world’s first transgender, pregnant male divorce here.