Alabama recognizes SPLC client Paul Hard as surviving spouse on husband’s death certificate
By Sarah Ford on February 10, 2015
On the same historic day same-sex couples in Alabama were allowed to marry, SPLC client Paul Hard finally received an amended death certificate recognizing him as his husband’s surviving spouse – a recognition that came nearly four years after his husband died in a car crash.
“It’s a good day,” Hard said, clasping the certificate in his hand. “It’s bittersweet. Today my home state recognizes our marriage. I put my wedding ring with David [Fancher] back on today in anticipation of this moment. I have been waiting for this recognition from the state, but sadly this had to come after his death.”
Last month, a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, which also barred Alabama from recognizing valid same-sex marriages from other states. The ruling was put on hold until today, allowing Hard to ask the state to correct the certificate that listed his husband’s marital status as “Never Married.” Hard and Fancher were married in Massachusetts in May 2011 but were Montgomery residents. Fancher was killed that August in a wreck on Interstate 65.