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Transgender Widow’s Marriage Questioned in Texas Court

Posted May 20, 2011 4:50 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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A transgender woman who is the widow of a Texas fire captain killed in the line of duty is involved in a lawsuit over his death benefits, and at a hearing today, a judge questioned what her gender was when she married.

Nikki Araguz married Thomas Araguz in 2008, according to the Houston Chronicle, and he died last summer. The man’s mother, Simona Longoria, filed a lawsuit stating that the $600,000 in death benefits should be divided between his two sons, 10 and 7, and Nikki Araguz should get nothing, because her marriage was not legal.

Longoria's suit asks the Wharton County Court to void the marriage, alleging that both Thomas and Nikki were males when they wed. Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages.

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