Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Judge finds that a Nikki Araguz's "Common Law" Marriage Invalid in Probate Matter

A Wharton County Judge ruled that Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow of a Wharton firefighter, will not receive her husband's benefits because her marriage is not valid under Texas law. This ruling is based on Texas's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  Texas common law (case law) holds that in transgender relationships, that whatever gender you are at birth, you are forever despite gender reassignment, new birth certificates, etc.  Thus if you're born a male and later become a female, you can only marry a female. In other words, you can only marry as a lesbian and not as a heterosexual?  How is that fair for same sex couples (females at birth, females now)?

Without a doubt, this case will be appealed to higher courts so that it can be vetted with proper constitutional arguments. This is an excellent opportunity for the Courts to address the difficult issues that the GLBT community faces in every day life and now, death.