2/14/14

Superior court nix's lower court ruling invalidating transgender woman Nikki Araguz marriage

Thursday Chief Justice Valdez, Thirteenth District of Texas issued an opinion sending back a lower courts ruling invalidating transgender woman Nikki Araguz Loyd marriage with Thomas Trevino Araguz III, her now deceased husband.

From the opinion:
"After volunteer firefighter Thomas Trevino Araguz III died in the line of duty, his mother, Simona Longoria, filed this suit to declare his marriage to Nikki Araguz void as a matter of law on the grounds that it constituted a same sex marriage.  (“A marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state.”)."

"Subsequently, Thomas’s ex-wife, Heather Delgado, intervened as next friend on behalf of their two minor children also contending that Thomas’s marriage to Nikki was void as a matter of law because it constituted a same sex marriage."

"The trial court granted Simona and Heather’s motions and denied Nikki’s motion. The court then entered a final judgment in favor of Simona and Heather declaring the marriage void as a matter of law."

"For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the trial court erred in granting the summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding Nikki’s sex and whether the marriage was a same sex marriage."

"Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

So Nikki has won the right to fight another day for the rights of trans people in my state of Texas. We are all pulling for you Nikki. There is a lot riding on the outcome of this case. If the lower courts ruling had stood, it would have set a legal precedent making the gender marker on my drivers licence virtually useless.

But of course there's the nitty gritty.

After their marriage Nikki and Thomas co habituated for a couple of months before Nikki had SRS. So, during there honey moon and the first couple months of passion Nikki still had male genitalia. Not something newlyweds could easily ignore. Then just a couple of months before Thomas, a firefighter died in the line of duty he filled a statement in a child custody dispute saying he did not know of Nikki's transgender history.

Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez said, whoa partner, not so fast, there's material facts to consider here,

At stake is a sizable insurance payout in conjunction with Thomas's death, their children and of course the rights of every transgender person living in our state of Texas.

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