Diatribe: A Pregnant Man Can’t Get A Divorce In Arizona.
As a child my family vacations and adventures were always found on the highways and interstates. We traveled in a motor home and saw so many sights. I didn’t really appreciate it at the time, but my family allowed me to see and do and taste and try things from all across the nation. Today, I am most grateful. I remember watching out the windshield, map in hand, waiting to cross the border from one state into the next. It was an exciting milestone on every journey and sometimes we would stop at a “welcome center” to learn more about where we were (and to get a free map). It never occurred to me that laws could change dramatically by crossing a river or passing a sign.
Thomas Beatie, better known as the “pregnant man” gained international attention several years ago and now he’s finding himself back in the spotlight again. Beatie, born female in the state of Hawaii had a state-authorized sex change before marrying his wife Nancy in 2003 and has since given birth to three children. The state of Hawaii recognized him as a man complete with a new social security number.
His family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and, unfortunately, the marriage began to deteriorate. The 37-year-old man filed eventually for divorce but a local judge wants more information to determine if Beatie’s marriage is even valid. Apparently, the Arizona judge is concerned that, despite laws in Hawaii and a history of legal documentation, Beatie is not a man. Therefore, under Arizona law which defines marriage as only between one man and one woman, the Beaties may not be legally married. Therefore, it could be argued, they cannot divorce.
Beatie could get a divorce in Hawaii, but it would require that he quit his job, relocate to Hawaii in order to establish residence, endure unnecessary expense and emotional upheaval associated with separation from his children … all while dealing with the turmoil of divorce. Because of the ill-fated Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), states are not always required to recognize marriages from other states and, consequently, laws are not always applied fairly.
Children crossing a bridge and getting excited about entering a new state should be able to assume that the laws, and consequently their rights, will remain intact as they travel across the UNITED States of America. It would appear that the Beatie marriage is another reason to believe that DOMA is unconstitutional.
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