Trans widow fights for firefighter husband’s benefits

A Texas transgender widow is suing after she was denied husband's benefits because she was registered as male at birth

Trans widow fights for firefighter husband’s benefits
01 May 2012

A firefighter's transgender widow from Texas is suing for the benefits that she was denied because she was registered as male at birth.

Despite legally changing her name and undergoing sexual reassignment surgery in 1996, 36-year-old Nikki Araguz was denied the workers' compensation which she claims was owed to her after her firefighter husband Thomas was killed in action 2010.

Now Mrs Araguz has filed a law suit against the City of Wharton.

In a separate suit brought on by Thomas's parents, a judge voided Araguz’s marriage in 2011 and denied her death benefits because the state of Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages.

However, Mrs Araguz, who is now a transgender activist living in Houston, has vowed to continue her battle for the sake of others like her.

'As difficult as this has been for me in my grief, I cannot in good conscience allow someone else to go through this again,' she told ABC news.

She added: 'I can’t imagine being known as the woman who walked away from this.'

Her attorney, Peggy Campbell, has denied her case is about gay marriage.

'All of the courts keep saying they don’t allow gay marriage,' she said.

'Our position is that this is not a gay marriage issue. It’s a man being married to a woman.'

Campbell claims Mrs Araguz is entitled to weekly benefits for the rest of her life or 104 weeks in a lump sum if she remarries.

An attorney for the City of Wharton declined to comment.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

New Zealand anti-gay-marriage group to lose charity status

'Groups that think differently to the prevailing politically correct view will be targeted in an attempt to shut them up,' says Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie
No thumbnail available

'Queer' Ezra Miller remembers his Arctic ski trip and living without internet

Pioneer spirit and self-identified queer actor Ezra Miller covers this month's issue of AnOther magazine where he recalls a North Pole activist adventure and laments being the last generation to get lost
No thumbnail available

What’s really going on for World Pride

Following the confusion over this year’s World Pride weekend, GSN has a full run down on what is definitely happening in London
No thumbnail available

Britain to get its first out gay character with HIV on a soap

Hollyoaks is working with Terrence Higgins Trust to ensure the story is told well
No thumbnail available

The gay man taking Jamaican TV to the Supreme Court

What the Jamaican TV court challenge from 27 to 31 May is really about by the man behind it
No thumbnail available

NZ rugby player tweets gay slur

Israel Dagg, who represents his country internationally, uses the word 'fag' to insult another player
No thumbnail available

Madonna reveals colorful new album cover

Material Girl's MDNA to be released on March 26
No thumbnail available

Trans woman to sue Christian rehab center in Hong Kong

A pre-op MTF transgender in Hong Kong is going to sue a narcotics school for delaying her operation by 10 years
No thumbnail available

Morocco frees UK man's partner

The British tourist was released earlier this week