Nikki Araguz's Marriage Voided by Judge

Categories: Courts

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Fox 26 is reporting that the attorney fighting Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow of a Wharton firefighter, says a judge has ruled that Araguz's marriage is not valid under Texas law and she will not get her husband's benefits.

The Wharton County Judge agreed with the family's attorneys ruling re-affirms Texas's legal view regarding same-sex marriage: They don't exist.

Nikki will not be eligible for any benefits and her common law marriage was voided.

More on this as it develops, which no doubt will include an appeal.

The Houston GLBT Caucus issued this statement:

Members of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus are tremendously disappointed in the ruling handed down by Judge Clapp declaring the marriage of Nikki Araguz to her late husband to be invalid.

While we recognize the strong desire of the community at-large to understand this setback to the fight for equal rights, Judge Clapp's ruling has not been made available to the public and it would be inappropriate to comment on the legal implications or arguments relative to this case until we have had an opportunity to review and analyze the ruling. We expect that to happen within the next 48 hours, and will offer comment at that time

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16 comments
Southweststew
Southweststew

Justice..karma...the judge absolutely made the right decision. Nikki has a very long criminal record of frauding, theft, and deceiving straight men for years with no remorse. I wonder how many people she has exposed to aids. Giving these unsuspecting victims Aids. She only started showing crocodile tears when $$$$$ was on the line. Hopefully she will turn her life around and get some integrity and compassion for all those she has hurt.

Guest
Guest

Looks like Ms. Araguz is busy with yet *another* criminal charges.  Not the first rodeo for her - nor probably the last. 

DRAMA
DRAMA

I sure hope the ex-wife and mother can't touch this money that should only be set for his children only.. Sounds like way to much greed!

H_e_x
H_e_x

You have to wonder what its like to be the ex wife and mother in this case. They are so wrapped up in hate for this woman that they are willing to ignore the wishes of their dead son/ ex-husband just to make sure she doesn't get benefits. Why do they choose to shit upon his choice to marry her?

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Okay, I'm confused. I thought, at least as it stands now, that the state of Texas accepts proof of a sex change for acquiring a marriage license. I was of this understanding because there has been a proposed bill, SB 723, to limit courts' rights to accept this as proof of a legal and valid marriage. Is the problem that Nikki didn't have the court order proving her to have had a sex change? If not, how could the judge have ruled her marriage invalid?

http://www.texastribune.org/te...

Guest
Guest

No matter what anyone's personal opinion - Nikki Araguz and her lawyer must have known what the law is before they went into this fight. 

Shame on them all for making the children's family pay for lawyers and to through all this drama and stress.  They must have known they'd lose.  Why drag all these people through this?

BTW - Personally, I think same sex people should be able to marry.  Or, people in Ms. Araguz' situation - but that isn't what the law is. 

Kylejack
Kylejack

What does AIDS or being straight have to do with it?  The surgery took place well after the wedding, so clearly this man was aware what he was getting into.

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

And no mention of it here yet. Pro-transgender bias, or still to come?

Geezy
Geezy

I'd have to say that in the states "eyes" this breaches moral boundaries. They are so wrapped up in their devotion to Christianity that ruling in favor of a transgendered widow would only open up a shitcan of controversy. The judge should have released his opinion on this case for further clarification. But as Brittanie Shey said in her comment, this could possibly become a test case. It's a shitty situation from top to bottom.

kylejack
kylejack

He apparently released it as a draft ruling, just a plan of how he intended to rule.  I'm not sure how long we have before the official ruling is released, but my guess is that he is going to cite something in the Texas Constitution as superceding the change to the family code.

I think he'll have trouble with citations, because he can't really cite Littleton vs. Prange [1999] now that the statutes have changed.

The other possibility is that he'll attack the common law aspect. Araguz had the gender reassignment surgery done after the marriage, and was trying to claim that they lived together long enough after the surgery to have a common law marriage. I suppose if the judge wanted to get hyper-technical he could say that the Araguzes didn't submit a court order establishing gender reassignment when they applied for marriage. If he does that, he's going to leave the door open for future cases where people have crossed all their Ts.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

More thoughts: It sucks the judge did not release his opinion, but this could possibly become a test case to challenge the potential SB 723 and further secure the rights for trans people to marry, especially if there is an appeal that sets a precedent.

Allison
Allison

"but that isn't what the law is."Seriously? How do you think bad laws get overturned?

Kyle Nielsen
Kyle Nielsen

Actually, the judge has essentially ruled that same gender people are allowed to marry in certain circumstances.  There is nothing keeping Araguz from marrying a woman.

They didn't drag anyone through anything.  It was the ex-wife and the man's mother dragging Araguz through this.  Had they not intervened, Araguz would have gotten the benefits she was [at least ethically] entitled to.

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

Its when everyone on this site gives this women the benefit of the doubt because if you don't you're "ignorant" or some kind of "bigot".

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