Wharton judge rules against Nikki Araguz

Posted on 24 May 2011 at 10:10pm
Nikki Araguz

We’re a few hours late to this because I just emerged from the basement of the Interfaith Peace Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope, where about 50 people rode out a possible tornado immediately after Dallas Voice’s mayoral runoff forum.

Anyhow, State District Judge Randy Clapp today ruled against transsexual widow Nikki Araguz and declared her marriage invalid, meaning she cannot receive death benefits from her husband, a volunteer firefighter killed in the line of duty last year. This ruling, a copy of which has not been released, was pretty much expected coming from a state district judge in Wharton, but Nikki Araguz says she’ll appeal the decision, and some observers say the case could wind up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We had a completely honest marriage, a 100 percent loving, honest marriage,” she said in a press release after the ruling. “I continue to grieve the loss of my husband and best friend. I consider this case not over and we will immediately file an appeal to the high court. With this ruling I continue to be reminded of the bias that exists toward transsexual and intersex people ignoring the laws of Texas that recognize their medical and surgical transition.

“Both myself and my family are grateful for the outpouring of understanding, kindness, sympathy, and support over the past year. I ask that you continue to hold me and Thomas in your heart and prayers,” Araguz said.

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