Marriage Equality USA

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Lawsuits - Resolved

Beatie v. Beatie

Case Number: 1 CA-CV 13-0209
Date Filed:
Ruling Date:
14 August 2014


  • Thomas Beatie was born in Hawaii as Tracy Lagondino in 1974. He had sex-reassignment surgery in 2002, took twice-weekly doses of testosterone, and had his breasts surgically removed during his female-to-male transition before legally changing his gender on his passport and Hawaii driver's license.
  • Thomas and Nancy married in 2003 in Hawaii. Nancy was unable to bear children due to a hysterctomy to cure endometriosis. Therefore, the couple decided to artificially inseminate Thomas and for him serve as a surogate, carrying their children. Thomas gave birth to their first child, Susan, in July 2008. Since then, he has given birth to two sons, Austin and Jensen.
  • The couple eventually moved to Arizona. Thomas and Nancy separated in 2012, then sought a divorce which was denied in 2013 when the judge ruled that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriages prevented the marriage from being recognized as valid.
  • On 14 August 2014, a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Thomas Beatie's marriage to Nancy Beatie in Hawaii in 2003 is considered valid in Arizona and concluded it wasn't a same-sex union. The Arizona Court of Appeals echoed the arguments made in an amicus brief from the Transgender Law Center that because “the right to have children is a liberty interest afforded special constitutional protection”—“one of the basic civil rights of man”—it would not interpret the Arizona or Hawaii gender-change statute as “prohibit[ing] giving birth as a prerequisite to gender redesignation.” The court also held that to deny Thomas Beatie legal recognition as male “would run afoul of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.” 
  • 14 August 2014, VICTORY! Marriages of Transgender People Ruled Valid by Courts in Arizona and California - Article from the Transgender Law Center
Joseph Diaz, et al., v. Janice Brewer, et al.

Case Number: No. 2:09-cv-02402-JWS
Date Filed: November 2009
Ruling Date: 23 December 2013


  • A federal judge barred enforcement of an AZ law that would withhold health benefits from LGBT employees, their partners, and children.
  • On 6 September 2011, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed.
  • 2 July 2012, AZ asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
  • 27 June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Arizona’s appeal of a preliminary injunction suspending the voter-approved benefits ban, so the benefits will remain in effect while the case proceeds.
  • On 23 December 2013, at the plaintiffs' request and with the support of the defendants, the District Court certified the suit as a class action and affirmed the lower court’s decision, expanding the beneficiaries of a decision for the plaintiffs to include all gay and lesbian state employees.
  • 31 October 2014, the parties filed a joint motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction and dismiss the case.

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