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Mother who opposed her deceased son’s same-sex marriage intervenes in lawsuit

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The mother of an accident victim is now involved in a federal lawsuit filed by his same-sex partner, who is trying to overturn Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage.

SPLCPaul Hard, right, with his husband David Fancher at their wedding in Marconi Beach, Mass. on May 20, 2011.

Paul Hard, right, with his husband David Fancher at their wedding in Marconi Beach, Mass. on May 20, 2011.

A federal judge in Montgomery says Pat Fancher can intervene in a lawsuit filed after the death of 53-year-old David Fancher.

David Fancher’s longtime partner, Paul Hard, sued in December. The two men were legally married in Massachusetts in May 2011. Fancher was killed in a automobile accident in 2011.

Because Alabama refuses to recognize lawful same-sex marriages entered out of state, current state law means that Paul cannot be deemed the surviving spouse and cannot share in the proceeds of a lawsuit filed against the trucking companies involved in the wreck. Fancher had collided in the dark with a large truck strewn across the northbound lanes of I-65 north of Montgomery.

Hard’s lawsuit asks a court to strike down Alabama laws banning same-sex unions, demands that Hard receive his share of the proceeds from the pending wrongful death suit, and that Alabama issue a corrected death certificate for his deceased husband, listing Hard as the surviving spouse.

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Pat Fancher says in court documents she doesn’t want to share her son’s estate with Hard. She also says she opposes same-sex marriage.

Fancher is being represented by the Montgomery-based Foundation for Moral Law, which was founded by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has previously said marriage equality will be the “ultimate destruction of our country.”

Hard is represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The case is Hard v. Bentley.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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