Texas AG Faces Contempt Hearing Over Failure To Recognize Gay Marriage

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.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: