March 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Texas newspaper omits same-sex marriage from obituary
free press, Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy of Bigstock)

A Texas mother’s obituary did not include a mention of her son’s husband because the newspaper’s publisher edited out the mention of the same-sex couple.

Fox 4 reports that Barry Giles submitted an obituary for his mother Brenda Light, who died last month, to The Olton Enterprise.

“Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas,” Giles submitted to the publication located in a small town north-west of Dallas.

When the obituary was printed, Gambill’s name and the mention of their marriage had been removed.

“It wiped John completely off the picture like he didn’t exist,” Giles told Fox 4.

The omission wasn’t an oversight. Phillip Hamilton, the paper’s publisher and a Baptist pastor, said in a statement to Fox 4 that he couldn’t print the unedited obituary because it went against his religious beliefs.

“It is my religious conviction that a male cannot have a husband,” Hamilton said. “It is also my belief that to publish anything contrary to God’s Word on this issue would be to publish something in the newspaper that is not true.”

A Care2 petition was started to have Hamilton include Gambill in the obituary.

“John considered Brenda a second mother and is reasonably upset to have been erased from her obituary. He and Barry are married. They have been together 31 years. For a newspaper to just disregard this fact is discriminatory and hurtful, and we can’t accept that,” the petition reads.

So far, it has received more than 14,000 of its 15,000 signature goal.

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