A local newspaper in Texas published a censored version of an obituary submitted by a gay couple, scrubbing any reference to the grieving son’s same-sex partner because the paper’s publisher said it was “contrary to God’s word.”
Barry Giles and John Gambill, who have been married for 31 years, say the local newspaper in Olton, removed references to Gambill after Giles’ mother died.
In the original obituary sent to the newspaper, Giles wrote: “Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas.”
But when the obit was published in the Olton Enterprise, Gambill wasn’t in there. The line had been edited to read: “Those left to cherish her memories include her son, Barry Giles of Dallas.”
“It wiped John completely off the picture like he didn’t exist,” Giles said
“She’s like my second mom, you know,” Gambill told Fox News 4.
“We’re human beings like anyone else,” Giles said. “We have feelings. We have relationships, whether he agrees with them or not.”
Gambill said he confronted Phillip Hamilton, the newspaper’s publisher, to ask him why his name was deliberately excluded from his mother-in-laws obituary.
“Because I wanted to,” Hamilton replied
“Of course, I had a few choice words to say to him,” Gambill told Fox News 4.
“It is my religious conviction that a male cannot have a husband,” Hamilton said in a statement. “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,” Hamilton said. “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.”
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In response to the controversy, social media users have flooded the paper’s Facebook page with negative reviews: