TEXAS: State Issues Amended Death Certificate For Husband Of Gay Man

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Facing possible contempt and a court order, Texas officials have now changed the death certificate of a gay man to add his husband as the surviving spouse. The Department of State Health Services “has issued an amendment to the death certificate for James Stone-Hoskins. It now lists John Allen Stone-Hoskins V as his spouse,” a department spokeswoman said in an email Thursday night. “The amended death certificate was issued this evening as ordered by the U.S. District Court and requested by John Stone-Hoskins.” The department had refused to change it after John Stone-Hoskins, 37, of Conroe tried to get the state to make the amendment following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26 that said gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. He married James Stone-Hoskins in New Mexico in 2014 after being together for 10 years. James Stone-Hoskins died in January at 32.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is due in court next week to face potential contempt charges over the state’s earlier refusal to issue the correct death certificate. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

  • crewman

    What kind of disgusting people are they making a person who’s lost their spouse go through this. Obviously that paperwork is necessary for life insurance, inheritance, property disposal, etc.

    • Paula

      Texas republicans. Jeebus lickers.

    • JT

      Any halfway decent person would now be ashamed of having obstructed this. But these people have no decency.

      • brian

        As evidenced by your first four words, they will never just do the right thing. Jail Paxton.

        • i’m glad most judges really don’t like being defied. contempt can be pretty serious, esp when you’re facing other charges like this asshole. i hope he spends a lot of time in the hole.

      • Paula

        Unfortunately, they wear this as some kind of badge of courage.

    • Mike__in_Houston

      It’s like somebody once said on here about Ryan Anderson. This whole thing is just academic to them; it never occurs to them that they are dealing with real people and real lives. (And of course if it ever did occur to them, they wouldn’t give a shit anyway, but I really don’t believe they have the brains or the heart to think it through that far.)

      • Bruno

        It is academic, because they are narcissists. If a couple walked up to Ryan Anderson or Ken Paxton and told them of their plight, it would go in one ear and out the other. This can occur without issue because only their opinions and needs are important.

      • bambinoitaliano

        That is until they are the one who suffer.

      • RoFaWh

        In the haters’ view, gays are not human.

  • AtticusP

    And the kicking and screaming as these people are dragged into the 21st century continues…

    • Ian

      On top of everything the poor guy is also suffering from terminal cancer.

      • gaymex

        Unbelievable…and after his husband died at 32. I hope this decision eases some of his pain and that he can find peace.

    • another_steve

      Dear Texan queer brethren reading here: Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

      You are all invited to emigrate here to Maryland, where we have very good seafood (particularly hard-shelled crabs) and where the John Waters Ethos reigns supreme among gay men.

      • HadenoughBS

        Thanks for the invitation but our entire lives are here. It IS getting better for us. My husband and I went to the local SSA office today where he signed up for spousal benefits. We’ve been waiting a long time to do that!

        • and it IS getting hotter there. we left TX about a year ago, and gosh are we glad. we gave up some good stuff to do so, but we think it was worth it. i’m also glad not to be drinking what they call “water” in TX anymore. that shit is Foul.

          • HadenoughBS

            LOL! Our farm’s stock tank ain’t quite THAT foul!!!

          • after that last summer we were there, 120F temps? fuck that shit. it’s only getting worse.

            it’s a sunny, breezy 79 here. believe me, i am not sorry i’m not there anymore. i hope what you said meant you process and drink your rain water. the wells are fouled all over TX. frakking, oil wells, corrupt local officials who don’t seem to care muni water comes out of the tap brown…

          • Octavio

            In 1985 I would fill the bathtub in the master bath of my then new condo overlooking Shoal Creek west of UT. It always looked as though I had filled it with urine. The water was that yellow. I never drank the tap water, although there were natural springs dotting the city that used to produce incredible sparkling delicious fresh water. The the coliform bacteria count started going over the “safety” mark at Barton Springs. I’d be interested to know if they eventually caved and started to treat Barton Springs with chlorine.

        • another_steve

          Several “points of contact” with you there, hon. 😉

          First, my long career in the Federal Government put me in contact with many Federal agencies — and I can tell you as a queer man that the Social Security Administration is one of the most compassionate Federal agencies out there. They’ve been constrained by statutory law that has worked against equality for LGBT people, but their current Acting Commissioner is a kind and compassionate woman, and the general ethos of that agency is pro-queer.

          Second, I and the hubbie have an emotional tie to the Great State of Texas.

          His goddaughter and her family live in League City. 😉

        • StraightGrandmother

          Good for you and your husband, good for you guys.
          I am really really happy for you.

          • HadenoughBS

            Thanks for your kind wishes, StraightGrandmother. It has been an anxious wait due to this state’s anti-gay bigotry but it’s now behind us. I only wish John-Allen and his late husband could enjoy these benefits as well. At least he’s gotten some resolution to his legal challenge against our Texas bigoted Rethuglican politicians.

            BTW, I always enjoy your JMG comments as well as those on the Twitter thing! 😀

      • John Ruff

        And a GOP governor. No thanks

        • another_steve

          Yes. We’re a bit embarrassed about that here, actually.

          We think it was because our last Governor — Martin O’Malley (much in the news these days) was the Republican Party’s wet dream of a “tax and spend” Democrat. His deputy (who ran against the Republican who ultimately won) was saddled with O’Malley’s “new taxes” record.

          Whatever.

          An anomaly, I suspect.

          • John Ruff

            Well, I’m sure he’ll do just as a good a job as Ehrlich did. Lol

      • Bluto

        2 good reasons to love Bawlmer.

      • NMNative

        You’re welcome to move to New Mexico as well. Just avoid the South eastern part, which most of us call Texas light. Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos are all great places to live and be gay.

    • JT

      And the denying of reality too. Here’s a comment from the item.

      The best thing about this is no matter how much the homosexual mafia screams, over 50% of us will never accept their lifestyle and their marriages.

      “The best thing”? “… over 50% of us”? This is a particularly hateful heart perhaps used to being in an echo chamber. “Will never”? Approval is already above 50% and it may even rise above that in the small circle of bigoted associates this creature has in the remaining years of life.

      • AtticusP

        There are two things that you must never believe when these people talk about them.

        One is math.

        The other is reality.

      • Steve

        It is a statistical fact that over 50% of dinosaurs never accepted extinction.

  • I hope the judge throws the book at the state of Texas. He won’t, but let me dream.

  • Gustav2

    YAY!

  • Chucktech

    This does NOT let that asshole, Ken Paxton, off the hook. And I hope John Stone-Hoskins sues the shit out of him for putting him through such bullshit in his unimaginable time of grief.

  • Rex

    About time. I can’t imagine the agony of losing your spose and then having to fight to be recognized. The brave men and women who have taken the fight for equality to the front of the battle lines should never be forgotten.

  • Herald

    Fantastic!

  • SFHarry

    It always bothers me just a little when a gay marriage is mentioned and the number of years the couple has been together is added(usually being many). It seems as though we are justifying their marriage based on the fact they have been together a long time. Straight couples never have to justify their marriages with long relationships. They could have met the previous night, drunk in Las Vegas, got married, don’t remember it, and they still don’t have to justify anything.

    • Rex

      I understand your point, however, many gay couples have HAD to wait years to get married, now with equality across the county we too can get drunk and married in a matter of hours too.

    • JT

      Yes, I share that concern. But in a lot of cases I think it’s mentioned to indicate how many same sex couples have been together in “all but married” circumstances for much longer than same sex marriage has been allowed.

      • Octavio

        The positive spin is that it shows to the troglodytes who believe we’re all icky and sinful that it is common for us to have long and loving relationships just like “normal” people. It’s not ideal, I know. But our enemies are always looking for any crack to make bigger.

        • JT

          Yes, it does, or should. But troglodytism is so strong in some that they deny the obvious truth that our relationships can ever involve “real” love. Such is a distinctive RC line used by people like Robert George.

      • SFHarry

        I guess it may serve a purpose for now but hopefully it will not be needed soon.

    • bambinoitaliano

      You mean someone like the four times married Kim Davis county clerk who refuse to issue same sex marriage license?

    • Sporkfighter

      If you and your spouse have “been together” for twenty years, and married for two, for all I know, you would have been married twenty years ago had it been possible. That’s not the same as a straight couple together for twenty, married for two.

      • SFHarry

        It definitely is not exactly the same because of the way society is but when we have to justify our marriages by proving they are real relationships because they are long and straight people do not have to do that there is still an imbalance that makes it seem that our marriages are not real unless they have some longevity to them.

        • Sporkfighter

          “. . . our marriages are not real unless they have some longevity to them.”

          There’s nothing we can do to make your marriage twenty years longer than it could possibly be. The best we can do is point out that there would be many long gay marriages if gay marriage had been legal. Long term gay relationships that became gay marriages when gay marriage became possible supports this social argument.

          Legally, your six-week marriage is as valid as any other marriage, no matter what the bigots think.

          • SFHarry

            I don’t think you are understanding my point. It is that I don’t think we need to justify how long we have been together if they don’t have to justify how long they have been together.

          • Sporkfighter

            You don’t need to justify anything to me, and nothing you could say will matter to the true bigots. It’s only those coming around … slowly, but coming around, that matter. To them, showing how a twenty year commitment followed by a two year marriage is a lot like a four year relationship followed by an eighteen year marriage between straights.

            Equal legal standing for all marriages is not enough if you can still be fired, evicted, or refused service in a gas station, drug store or restaurant because you are gay. You’ve got to be “those two nice gay men” to the old lady across the hall. You need more voters. We need more voters. People die every day, and justice can never reach them.

            This is a chess game that matters. Play the pieces you have, and play to win.

  • Baltimatt

    Good to hear.

    OT, but Michael Sam is slated to make his regular season debut tonight in Montreal’s away game against the Ottawa Redblacks.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/michael-sam-first-openly-gay-player-in-cfl-set-to-make-league-debut-1.3182839

  • JT

    The judge also this week ordered Paxton and Kirk Cole, interim commissioner of the health services department, to a court hearing next Wednesday in San Antonio to determine whether they should be held in contempt.

    If they are found in contempt, they could be fined, jailed or both.

    Jail their fucking asses!

    • Gustav2

      (well that didn’t work)

      • JT

        That’s next Wednesday for the court appearance.

  • LonelyLiberal

    Religious beliefs so strongly held that they can’t tolerate a fine or a little jail time. Yeah, that’s Strongly Held Religious Beliefs, all right. Jerks.

  • Bruno

    I love the way the judge acted quickly on this, and is dragging Paxton’s ass into court to answer for it. Might be too much to hope he gets a contempt of court, but he should at least merit a strong verbal reprimand.

  • TexasBoy

    Please, please, please, can’t we convict Paxton of something, anything, to get this jerk out of office? And his buddy Abbott, too.

    • People4Humanity

      Pretty please? With melted butter, sugar and cinnamon on top!

    • Stev84

      Only for them to be replaced by two other jerks

  • BearEyes

    ’bout time. the circumstances of this are bad enough without paxton playing political games with someone else’s life.

  • Princess Lardass

    Why is it so difficult for some people to treat others who are different from them with just an infinitesimal amount of decency and respect? The state wouldn’t recognize the marriage when both parties were alive, it lollygagged on the issue when SCOTUS ruled, and now that a spouse a died, they change the death certificate only when facing legal action. I see the glass half empty, and I want to throw its contents in Texas’ figurative face!

  • Toasterlad

    If there were real justice, Paxton would have to present the amended death certificate to Stone-Hoskins naked, in the middle of the Austin town square, and then have a huge crowd of spectators throw cow shit at him while yelling, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

    • gaymex

      That would be great. Unfortunately it’s Texas.

      • Octavio

        Yeah, cow shit is too precious to throw away. Everyone hoards it to amend the shallow soils in their gardens.

        • Circ09

          Naw, it’s used for cow-patty bingo at all the local fairs this time of year.

    • TampaDink

      Why should there be even more suffering involved in all of this? Think of the innocent victims who’d be forced to look at Paxton in the buff.

  • I’m hoping the judge throws Ken’s ass in jail for a few days on principle. It would make a great photo opp to see his smirking face lead from the courthouse in cuffs.

    • Circ09

      What do you want to bet the judge cancels the hearing now that the death certificate has been amended?

  • Lane

    Marriage isn’t needed during good times, during simple times. It’s needed during times of pain and stress, times of heartbreak and anguish. Death, taxes, divorce, sickness. Those are why marriage matters, those are the times when that piece of paper is important. When you’re dining out or going on vacation? Car rental discounts aside, it doesn’t matter if you’re dating or married. No one is fighting your ability to order the chicken for your spouse. End of life and medical decisions are when the fights happen, and when that document is vital.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme
    • Bruno

      I think they just made 1955.

      • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

        Actually, a bit earlier… smack in the McCarthy era.

  • LovesIrony

    You fucking bigots find doing the right thing so hard.

  • Ginger Snap

    Love always wins even in death. The haters hate that we have real love on our side and their love is lip service.

  • Guest

    Now if we could only get Alabama to come on board with marriage equality in all of their counties. That hasn’t been straightened out yet has it?

    • Bruno

      No, because Alabama law allows probate judges to “get out of the marriage business,” or so they claim. None of the counties are outwardly discriminating since they aren’t serving hetero couples either. There are 9-12 counties still not issuing. The Alabama Supreme Court is likely to re-address their previous order barring probate judges from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. When that is, or what they do, are anyone’s guesses.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    Will other same-sex surviving spouses in Texas also have to drag state officials into court to make them obey the law?

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Annnnnnd… exhale.

    (I was waiting for the other cowboy boot to drop, but it didn’t. Good.)

  • Octavio

    This is just what we all wanted: to have the death certificate reflect that the surviving spouse was the surviving spouse. But now I also want to see Paxton found in contempt and thrown in prison. Grrrrrrr . . . . .

  • Refugay

    Thank you John for fighting for this. You do us all a service and this act of bravery is a testament of the love and marriage shared between you and James that will now live on as a legacy. I hope this provides some peace and comfort to you now and forever.

  • Ninja0980

    Fuck you assholes, fuck you very much.

  • Ogre Magi

    christians are such jerks

  • Justin

    Cold comfort, indeed. But the poor fellow needs things to go his way, however much they are no replacement for a living, breathing, loving husband.

  • BudClark

    You mean Fuxton isn’t in FEDERAL prison yet?

    Sad.

    Very sad.

  • Queequeg

    That’s a good thing, but it is terrible that it had to be that much of a battle to be treated like a real human being.