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Member since: Mon Nov 18, 2013, 03:56 PM
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Texas court revives transgender marriage case

Source: San Antonio Express

Nikki Araguz was denied benefits when the mother and ex-wife of late husband Thomas Trevino Araguz III filed a lawsuit claiming the marriage was void because of Texas' ban on same-sex marriage.

Even though Nikki Araguz was already a woman when they married, she was born a male named Justin Graham Purdue. The state used that as the basis for their denial.

Thomas Arraguz died in a July 4, 2010, blaze at an egg farm in Wharton, a town of about 9,000 west of Houston. The lawsuit, which was filed weeks after his death, is over his $600,000 estate.

As first reported Thursday in the San Antonio Express-News, the appellate court, based in Corpus Christi and Edinburg, voided the state district court judge's summary judgment and ordered the case returned to the original courtroom for further litigation.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-court-revives-transgender-marriage-case-5232032.php

BREAKING: Texas appeals court rules in favor of trans widow Nikki Araguz

CORPUS CHRISTI — The 13th District Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi issued a landmark opinion Thursday in favor of Houston trans widow Nikki Araguz, ruling that Texas must recognize the marriages of trans people.

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez, revereses the 2011 ruling by Houston state district Judge Randy Clapp, who ruled that Araguz was born male and Texas’ 2005 marriage amendment doesn’t recognize her marriage to a man. Her 2008 marriage to her late husband, Thomas Araguz III, became invalid. Thomas Araguz was a volunteer firefighter in Wharton and was killed in the line of duty in 2010 and Nikki Araguz was denied his death benefits.

Clapp’s ruling hinged on the 1999 Texas Court of Appeals decision in Littleton v. Prange, which found that since a male who transitioned to female was born male, she was therefore still male. Her marriage to a male was therefore invalid because same-sex marriages are invalid under state law.

But the Texas Legislature opened the door for transgender marriage in 2009 when it added documentation of a sex change to the identification documents people can present to obtain a marriage license. Araguz’s appeal in September hinged on how the 2009 statute voids the Littleton ruling.
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