Watch this video to see David Michael Cantor with client Thomas Beatie discuss Thomas’ divorce case on Anderson Cooper Live. In the interview Thomas and David cover the history of the case and what it means for Thomas, his family, and laws concerning transgender people.
Thomas was legally declared a man under hawaiian law before marrying his wife. Arizona has the same law regarding legal definition of gender after a sex change operation. This means that the marriage is valid in both states. However, the honorable Judge Gerlach of Arizona Superior Court questioned his courts jurisdiction over the case as he questions Thomas’ sexuality since he was still able to give birth after his wedding.
David makes the point that nowhere in the law does it state that someone must become sterile in order to legally become a man or a woman. In fact this specification is specifically left out of the laws for what we presume to be a number of reasons the least of which is that forced sterilization is a very unpopular practice in the modern world.
The LBGT community should be paying attention to this case as it sets a number of legal precedents regarding marriage and gender equality. The fact that it is happening in one of the most conservative states in the US is also notable as the debate over gay marriage becomes more prevalent.
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