Thomas Beatie, the trans Arizona man who became pregnant in 2008, is being blocked from divorcing his wife of nine years by a state judge who is questioning the validity of the marriage.

Back in May, Mr Beatie’s attorney, David Michael Cantor said in a statement that his client was “thrilled that this court has recognised that a transgender marriage is a valid marriage under Arizona law. Hopefully, this case will help pave the way for other state’s valid marriages to be recognised in the divorce courts of Arizona.”

However, the current presiding judge has stated that because both Beatie and his wife have female sex organs, their union is in effect illegal, as Arizona does not yet recognise marriage equality.

The judge has pointed out that Mr Beatie has a womb and has given birth to the couple’s three children during their marriage, and cannot find any legal authority that defines a man as someone who is able to give birth.

Mr Beatie has filed documents that he hopes will prove his marriage’s legitimacy, including his US passport and his Hawaii birth certificate, both of which define him as male.

Mr Beatie first became pregnant in late 2007. He famously posed for a picture at the time which displayed him as heavily pregnant but with facial hair.

He had two more children in quick succession, as he only had a short period of time in which to not take testosterone.

Speaking on television in 2008 he said: “I wanted to have a child one day. I didn’t know how. It was just a dream.”

In March this year, Mr Beatie revealed he had filed for bankruptcy and was desperately seeking a job to get his family off welfare handouts and pay his $5,000-a-month mortgage.

In May, a judge gave him temporary full custody over the couple’s three children after footage came to light of his wife Nancy appearing to violently attack her husband and destroy their computer.