Court Rules Sex Unchangeable
Special Report - June 2, 2011
A Texas court has ruled that the “marriage” of two menone of whom was posing as a woman unbeknownst to the otheris null and void, stating that a person’s sex is determined at birth and cannot be changed. The case stemmed from an estate settlement after one of the men died. In its May 26 ruling, the 329th District Court of Wharton County in Texas granted a summary judgment in favor of a motion that was based partly on a previous Texas Court of Appeals ruling that sex is fixed at birth and cannot be altered by surgical procedures. Additionally, both the Texas Constitution and Family Code recognize marriage as only existing between a man and a woman.
The case was part of the estate proceedings for the deceased fire Captain Thomas Araguz, who died two months after separating from his spouse, whom he had discovered was actually a man, Justin Purdue. Purdue had started taking sex hormones at age 18, changed his name to “Nikki” in the 1990s, and underwent extensive surgery in 2008 to appear to be a woman. Araguz was unaware of Purdue’s history when the two married in 2008. The court ruled that Thomas Araguz was unmarried when he died and “any purported marriage between [Thomas Araguz] and Nikki Araguz [formerly, Justin Purdue] prior to [Thomas’] death was void as a matter of law.”
“The district court adopted the position which was wisely written and handed down by the Texas Court of Appeals,” said lead counsel and ADF allied attorney Chad Ellis. “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.’”
ADF Senior Legal Counsel, Austin R. Nimocks said in a statement, “A person’s sex is a biological fact, not a state of mind, and altering one’s outer appearance doesn’t change that.The court was right to uphold marriage by affirming the reality that a person’s sex cannot be changed.”
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