A newspaper in Texas, the Olton Enterprise, refused to print the name of a son’s husband in the obituary of the son’s mother.
Barry Giles told KDFW that when his mother Brenda Light passed away in February, he included his husband, John Gambill, in the obituary:
Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas.
Giles said the Olton Enterprise cut out Gambill:
It wiped John completely off the picture like he didn’t exist.
Gambill said he called the newspaper publisher Phillip Hamilton:
I said, “Why was my name left out?” And he said, “Because I wanted to.”And that’s all there was to the conversation. Of course, I had a few choice words to say to him.
Hamilton, who claims to be a bi-vocational Baptist pastor, released a statement:
It is my religious conviction that a male cannot have a husband. 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.
The newspaper respects the first amendment rights of those who express such opinions. The newspaper’s decision to edit the obituary is both ethical and lawful. It would be unethical to publish a news item that is known by the editor to be false.
Based on the truth found in the Word of God, I could not in good conscience identify Mr. Gamabill as the husband of Mr. Giles.
However, the legal truth is Gamabill and Giles are married.