Arizona Court Confirms Transgender Man’s Right to Divorce
The Arizona appeals court overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender individual has a right to petition for divorce in the state if the marriage is considered legal in Arizona.
The appellant is a transgender man who married his wife in Hawaii after he had completed his transformation from a biological female to a legal male. At that time, Hawaii did not recognize same-sex marriages, but the couple was able to get married legally as a heterosexual couple. If they had obtained a same-sex marriage, they would have been barred from obtaining a divorce in Arizona because the state does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.
The 40-year-old appellant had been born a woman but lived as a man for 20 years, except for the periods in which he got pregnant and gave birth to their children as his wife was unable to, for which he gained notoriety. When he decided to divorce his wife in order to marry his girlfriend, he encountered a hitch. He was denied divorce because he was not considered legally married to his wife.
The decision of the appeals court to overturn this ruling is a significant development in the ongoing drama of same-sex marriages, transgender rights, and the general LGBT movement in the US. Many states that have banned same-sex marriages have been ordered to lift the bans by the courts because they have been deemed unconstitutional. The ruling in this case affirms, at least in Arizona, that transgender people have the same legal and civil rights as anyone else, including under family law.
The legal profession has its work cut out for it because the courts are creating numerous precedents as never before. Informed lawyers, such as the Marshall and Taylor divorce lawyers, know that when choosing your divorce lawyer, be sure that you are consulting with one who is up-to-date with the most recent cases.