A district court has ruled that Texas must recognise the marriages of trans people.

The Dallas Voice reports the 13th District Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi on Thursday made a judgment in favour of Houston trans widow Nikki Araguz.

The landmark ruling, written by Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez, reverses the 2011 judgment by Houston state district Judge Randy Clapp, who declared that Araguz’s 2008 marriage to a man could not be recognised.

Thomas Araguz, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the line of duty in 2010.

Nikki Araguz was subsequently denied his death benefits by the family of Thomas and is still fighting to receive them.

The family argued in court for the marriage to be declared invalid because she was not female at the time of her marriage to Thomas.

Houston attorney Kent Rutter, the lead attorney for the appeal, said Thursday’s ruling marked the first time that a court in Texas recognised that trans people have the right to marry.

“What the decision today says is Texas law now recognises that an individual who has had a sex change is eligible to marry a person of the opposite sex,” he said. “I think it’s a significant victory for trans people in Texas.”

Mr Kent said that the ruling will result in further court proceedings to ensure Araguz receives her late husband’s death benefits.

A lawsuit challenging a 2005 constitutional amendment banning equal marriage in Texas was filed at a court in San Antonio on Wednesday.