Nikki Araguz, the widow of the Wharton firefighter who is being sued by his ex-wife and mother over allegations the marriage was invalid because she was born a man, had an unenlightening press conference yesterday.
We didn't get the invite, but video shows Araguz haltingly giving a simple statement and then leaving in tears.
"I am absolutely devastated by the loss of my husband...and horrified at the horrendous allegations accusing me of fraud because they're absolutely not true. And that's all I have to say," she said.
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She then tearfully left and Phyllis Frye, her attorney, said she hoped Araguz would have the support of firefighters.
One group that does support her is attendees of the Texas transgender Nondiscrimination Summit, being held here in Houston. They issued a statement.
Mrs. Nikki Araguz legally married a man, and her marriage has been recognized under the laws of the state of Texas. Nikki's husband, a fireman in Wharton County, tragically was killed in the line of duty, and now other parties are attempting to use the courts to have her marriage legally overturned in an effort to deny her inheritance and insurance.
These parties are claiming that Nikki is not legally a woman under Texas law. Nikki's opponents are attempting to use an obscure Texas case, Littleton v. Prange (1999), to declare that her marriage should be invalid. The Littleton case says that a person's gender is determined by chromosomes, not physical attributes. The Littleton case was decided to deny a transgender woman her right to bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of her husband - even though Littleton had legally changed her gender and had been legally married in Texas.
The first hearing on the matter is scheduled for today.