A transgendered Texas widow Nikki Araguz is facing legal difficulties following the death of her firefighter husband Thomas Araguz. In Texas, gay marriage, whether civil union or whatever you want to call it, is not recognized. As such, Nikki is being denied the right to receive any financial benefit in terms of life insurance or otherwise because her marriage is being considered non-existent. In a Texas court ruling, it was determined by a judge that transgendered persons are still considered whatever sex they were born with. Hence, Nikki, born Justin Purdue, is in their eyes, a man in a gay marriage and by that reasoning, the marriage is nit legally recognized.
In a court ruling that took place eon June 1st, 2011, Nikki learned that the marriage to her late husband, Texas firefighter Thomas Araguz, would not be recognized in a Texas court. The court explained the reasoning for their ruling is based on their notion that your biological sex is what you are born with, not what a doctor can change you do. Nikki, a male-to-female transgendered person, underwent sex reassignment surgery approximately two weeks after filing for a marriage license with Thomas in 2008. The court is ruling that because she was man at the time the marriage took place, it is null in their eyes.
One of the lead counsel for Texas stated:
“The district court adopted the position which was wisely written and handed down by the Texas Court of Appeals,”
“In answering the question, ‘can a physician change the gender of a person with a scalpel, drugs and counseling, or is a person’s gender immutably fixed by our Creator at birth?’ the appeals court determined that gender is fixed, saying, ‘There are some things we cannot will into being. They just are.’”
Despite this ruling, Nikki plans to appeal the decision. She shared her reactions:
“Both myself and my family are grateful for the outpouring of understanding, kindness, sympathy, and support over the past year,”
“I am totally devastated by the court ruling. At this time I have no comment for the media, but will be issuing a statement shortly after I consider my options.”
The United States is changing on a day by day basis in terms of what the country and American society sees as acceptable and unacceptable. Previously unmentionable things are happening in the news. In past year you would never have seen someone like Nikki Araguz fight to get what is rightfully hers. Does this mean the United States is becoming more accepting as time goes on? Or does the Texas ruling illustrate that the road to change is going to be a long one?
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