Small-Town Paper Omits Son's Husband From Mother's Obit

The publisher of the 'Olton Enterprise' in Texas is also a Baptist pastor
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2018 3:03 PM CDT
Updated Mar 18, 2018 5:26 PM CDT
File photo   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – A small-town Texas newspaper is catching heat after a Dallas man says his same-sex partner was left out of his mother's obituary. According to KDFW, Barry Giles and John Gambill said the Olton Enterprise in the town of Olton, outside Lubbock, cited "religious and ethical" reasons for the omission. Giles' mother, Brenda Light, moved to Dallas to be closer to her son and his husband. After she died suddenly at 77 following a fall in February, Giles sent the obituary to her home town of Olton. The obituary he sent included the line "Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas." However, all mention of Gambill was reportedly removed by publisher Phillip Hamilton.

Hamilton, who Dallas News reports is also a Baptist pastor, said he could not in good conscience publish the line citing Giles' husband as another man because it wouldn't have been "true." The couple have been together over three decades and say they often took family vacations with Light, who Gambill said was like a "second mom" to him. Hamilton says he was exercising his First Amendment and religious rights when he edited out the information. The couple says they are looking at their legal options. Meanwhile, Light's obituary was printed in full by other local papers.

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