Texas has issued surviving spouse status to a man whose husband died earlier this year, a move that came after a federal judge ordered the state to do so, officials said on Friday.
Texas, where Republican leaders have tried to push back against gay marriage, had balked at recognizing John Stone-Hoskins as the surviving spouse on the death certificate of James Stone-Hoskins, according to court documents.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said the amended death certificate was issued on Thursday evening.
“It now lists John Allen Stone-Hoskins as his spouse,” it said.
John and James Stone-Hoskins were lawfully married in New Mexico in August 2014 and James died in January 2015. At the time, their home state of Texas did not allow same-sex marriage.
Texas refused to recognize John as the surviving spouse at the time of the death. He filed a lawsuit on Wednesday calling on the state to list him as the surviving spouse on the death certificate, saying it must do so after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that made same-sex marriage legal in all states.
Hours after the papers were filed, a federal judge ordered Texas to list John as the surviving spouse.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio also ordered defendants including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, and the state’s acting health commissioner to appear in his court next week as he considers whether they should be held in contempt.
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) –
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz)