Texas AG Faces Contempt Hearing Over Failure To Recognize Gay Marriage

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton and another official to a contempt hearing over the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages following the June Supreme Court ruling, according to Dallas television station WFAA.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued the order in response to a legal action filed by Texas resident John Stone-Hoskins, who asked the court to hold Paxton in contempt after the state would not amend his spouse’s death certificate to reflect that the two were married, according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to Cole, when he asked the state to amend his spouse’s death certificate, the state cashed his check but refused to complete the paperwork. A Department of State Health Services official wrote, “Until the ruling is fully reviewed, we will not be able to know the impact, if any, on the process to file or amend death certificates. We will keep your documentation in a pending file and will advise you once a determination is made,” according to the Chronicle.

Garcia also ordered Kirk Cole, the state’s interim director at the Department of State Health Services, to issued an amended death certificate for Stone-Hoskin’s spouse, James Stone-Hoskins, according to the Chronicle.

Paxton and Cole must appear in court next week so that Garcia can determine whether the two officials violated his July ruling prohibiting the the state from restricting same-sex marriage.

Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman for Paxton, told the Chronicle that the court must determine in a separate case whether the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage was retroactive. Meyer said that Paxton’s office would be filing a response to Garcia’s order in court.

Earlier this week, Paxton was also indicted on felony securities fraud charges.

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