A transgender man in Arizona garnered fame after having three children, giving birth to them himself. Now, he is back in the headlines because he would like to divorce his wife. The pair has been together for over a decade. A recent ruling by a court has upheld the man’s right to pursue a divorce if he would like to do so.
Before this ruling, a lower court actually decided that they could not get divorced. This was appealed, and it went up to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Their ruling is the most recent, overturning the other decision. The ruling was made by a panel composed of three individuals.
The question at hand was whether or not the marriage was even a legal one in the eyes of Arizona law. The couple, who married back in 2003, celebrated their union in Hawaii. The document that was put out to define the ruling, which is 12 pages long, stated that the marriage did not violate Arizona law when it first occurred, and so it has to be recognized in the same way now. This paves the road for a divorce.
One issue, according to the first ruling, was that the marriage was at first considered a same-sex marriage, which Arizona does not yet recognize. The judge said that the man had not yet indicated that he was a man in 2003, making the subsequent marriage illegal in Arizona, and that he only did so afterwards.
This case illustrates some of the complexities with changing marriage laws and individual rights, so residents of Arizona should look at the outcome to see how it could help define their rights in the future.
Source: Reuters, “Arizona’s ‘pregnant man’ has right to divorce wife: court” David Schwartz, Aug. 13, 2014