Littleton was born in San Antonio, Texas. She dropped out of school at age 15 and began living as a woman. In 1977 she began taking female hormones and legally changed her name to Christie Lee Cavazos. In 1980 she completed her surgical reassignment and had her state-issued identification changed to female. In the 1990s she met and married Jonathan Mark Littleton in Kentucky, later moving to San Antonio, where she worked at a salon and he worked as a window washer. After her husband's death, Littleton brought a medical malpractice suit against her husband's doctor, Mark Prange. The defense attorney argued that the marriage was invalid because Littleton was a trans woman. On appeal, Chief Justice Phil Hardberger relied on the fact that "Texas statutes do not allow same-sex marriages" and that "male chromosomes do not change with either hormonal treatment or sex reassignment surgery" in handing down his judgment that "... Christie Littleton is a male. As a male, Christie cannot be married to another male. Her marriage to Jonathon was invalid, and she cannot bring a cause of action as his surviving spouse."
The case cleared the way for transwomen attracted to women to marry legally in Texas.
- Littleton v. Prange, No. 99-1214 (Tex. 18 May 2000)
- Celia Kitzinger & Sue Wilkinson (2006). Genders, sexualities and equal marriage rights. Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review
- Dahir, Mubarak (October 10, 2000). Genetics vs. love. The Advocate
- Littleton v. Prange, 9 SW3d 223
- Pesquera, Adolfo (September 7, 2000). Lesbian couple get license to wed Transsexual ruling clears the way. San Antonio Express-News
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