An Alabama mother has asked a federal
judge not to recognize her late son's marriage to another man.
Paul Hard and Charles David Fancher
married in 2011 in Massachusetts.
Roughly 3 months after the wedding,
Fancher was killed in a car crash north of Montgomery, which led to a
wrongful death case.
Alabama officials have refused to
recognize the marriage. Fancher's death certificate lists him as
Hard sued the state, asking a federal
judge to force Alabama officials to issue a corrected death
certificate for Fancher that lists him as the surviving spouse.
Pat Fancher, Charles Fancher's mother,
intervened in the case and asked the court not to recognize her son's
out-of-state marriage. She is represented by the Christian
conservative group Foundation for Moral Law.
“This claim is contrary to Alabama
state law,” Ms.
Fancher's attorneys wrote. “It is Defendant Fancher's opinion
that Plaintiff's requested injunction, if granted, will violate the
millennia-old institution of marriage as ordained by God.”
At a news conference in February to
announce the lawsuit, Hard said that hospital workers refused to
acknowledge his marriage and that he learned of his husband's passing
from a hospital orderly after about a half-hour of inquiries.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC),
which is representing Hard, said at the time that Hard is entitled to
proceeds from the wrongful death case.
“The only purpose of refusing Paul
the right to share in the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit is
to punish him for having married a man, and to express moral
disapproval of this choice,” said David C. Dinielli, deputy legal
director for the SPLC.