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Gay Spouse Sues State To Be Named On Partner’s Death Certificate; AG Paxton Ordered To Testify

John Stone Hoskins
John Stone Hoskins and his late husband James Stone


The Texas Tribune reports:  " U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia (in San Antonio) also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxtonand Kirk Cole, interim commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, to appear in court Aug. 12 to determine whether they should be held in contempt for refusing to change the death certificate. This is the latest legal challenge for Paxton, who was recently indicted on three felony securities fraud charges.

Original Story:

A Houston man wants his name added to his male-spouse’s death certificate, but the State of Texas is saying no, so he’s decided to sue.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in a San Antonio federal court claims the State of Texas illegally refused John Stone-Hoskin’s request to add his name to his spouse’s death certificate. 

James Stone took his own life in January after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s Symdrone. He died without a will.

Credit Ryan E. Poppe
SA Attorney Neel Lane.

  Hoskins is being represented by San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who has represented other same-sex couples who fought for the right to marry in Texas.

“The state is trying to argue that the Supreme Court’s decision is only effective going forward and it isn’t effective retroactively, but that doesn’t make any sense here because Judge Garcia ruled the decision unconstitutional and he has been affirmed,” Lane explained.

Lane is asking the court to find that the Department of State Health Services in contempt of his original order that declared same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional in Texas, which happened before the Supreme Court had ruled on the matter.