From Q San Antonio: http://www.qsanantonio.com/christie-lee.html
QSanAntonio, April 3, 2014
Christie Lee Littleton Van De Putte, a San Antonio transgender woman who in 1999 was denied the status of a surviving spouse after her husband’s death, died on March 15.
Van De Putte, a San Antonio native, was 61 years of age and worked as a hair stylist. No cause of death was made public. Her funeral mass was on March 25 at Holy Family Catholic Church. Interment was at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.
QSanAntonio has learned that the San Antonio Gender Association is planning a vigil for Van De Putte. Details about this event will be forthcoming.
The 1999 legal ruling that made Van De Putte’s story famous, was made by former Mayor Phil Hardberger when he was Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals. In that case Van De Putte (then Christie Lee Littleton) had been legally married to a man in Kentucky but denied widow’s benefits upon his death.
Hardberger agreed with 285th District Court Judge Frank Montalvo in his ruling that, because of chromosomal evidence, Littleton’s marriage to Jonathan Littleton was a same-sex marriage and therefore illegal.
“The male chromosomes do not change with either hormonal treatment or sex reassignment surgery,” Hardberger wrote in his ruling. “Biologically a post-operative female transsexual is still a male.”
Hardberger’s decision became law in the thirty-two counties located in South Texas and the Texas Hill Country that comprise the Fourth Court of Appeals.
In March of 2007, Hardberger addressed a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio and discussed the case during a question and answer session.
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