Beatie Complication

The Beaties were just trying to get divorced.

Thomas and Nancy Beatie are eager to end their nine-year marriage, but their divorce plans stalled when Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach said in late June that he was unable to find any legal authority defining a man as someone who can give birth.

“Are we dealing with a same-sex marriage?” Gerlach asked. He noted Arizona has banned such marriages and refuses to accept those performed in other states. The judge added no court here is allowed to declare same-sex unions valid.


“What you have is a man and woman who are married, and their relationship is ending,” said Minter, who isn’t involved in the Beatie case. “And it’s no different, fundamentally, from other people in that circumstance.”

And Beatie, whom I’ve never been a gigantic fan of, redeems himself with this:

David Michael Cantor, one of Thomas Beatie’s attorneys, said it would be more financially favorable for his client if the marriage weren’t recognized by the courts, because Thomas could have to pay Nancy alimony. But Cantor said Thomas wants the divorce as an official recognition that their union was legitimate. “He loses money, but he wants to be told it’s valid,” Cantor said.

As a friend pointed out: it’s sad that he doesn’t want to pay alimony simply because it’s the right thing for a man to do in a sexist system, but at least he wants to see his marriage upheld as legitimate so as not to set a precedent (or rather, more precedent) that puts any other of our marriages at risk. Let’s hope he gets his way.

You can read the whole article here.