PHOENIX - Thomas Beatie, known as the "pregnant man," grabbed headlines worldwide several years ago and the Phoenix resident is now back in the spotlight.
The transgender man married his wife Nancy in 2003, and has since given birth to three children.
According to Beatie's Phoenix attorney, the 37-year-old filed for divorce, but a Phoenix judge wants more information to determine if Beatie's marriage is valid.
Beatie, born in Hawaii as a female, had a state-authorized sex change before marrying his wife and according to his attorney, Beatie was officially recognized as a man by the state of Hawaii complete with a new social security number.
"Hawaii said OK, that it's a valid marriage, who is Arizona to say, well, we're going to ignore one of the other 49 states and say this not a valid marriage?" said Beatie's attorney, David Michael Cantor with the Cantor Law Group.
At issue, a Phoenix judge wants to know if the marriage was in fact valid, because at the time of the wedding Beatie had female sex organs.
"We're fighting Thomas' validation, it's a valid marriage, he's a male, he's a valid person and that's what this fight is all about," said Cantor from his downtown Phoenix office.
Cantor admits it's a unique case with the judge and lawyers learning as they go.
"I would say in Arizona this is new territory," Cantor said. "He (Beatie) is somewhat devastated because he's being told he's not a real person anymore."
Cantor said he had made several court filings regarding the unique divorce case to show the marriage is valid.
Something else interesting: even though Cantor says he's handling the case for free, the divorce will actually cost Beatie more rather than it being ruled invalid.
"If his marriage isn't validated, he doesn't have to pay spousal maintenance, he actually does better if the marriage is invalidated, but Thomas doesn't want that."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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