Baptist newspaper publisher deletes gay son, husband from obituary

Brenda Light, center, with her son, Barry Giles, right, and her son-in-law, John Gambill.

A Baptist preacher who pulls double duty as a small-town weekly newspaper publisher in West Texas deleted the name of an Oak Cliff woman’s son and his husband in her obituary.

Barry Giles and John Gambill, who live in Oak Cliff, were mentioned in an obituary written for Giles’ mother, who died Feb. 14.

The obituary should’ve read, “Those left to cherish her memories include her son, Barry Giles, and his husband, John Gambill, of Dallas.”

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But newspaper publisher Phillip Hamilton took it upon himself to delete that sentence from Brenda Light’s obituary, which was printed at no charge.

Hamilton later gave a statement on his decision:

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“The newspaper respects the first amendment rights of those who express such opinions. 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. Gambill as the husband of Mr. Giles.”

Giles and Gambill have been a couple for 31 years. Giles’ mother moved to Oak Cliff from Olton after her husband died in 2010, according to the Dallas Voice. The three traveled to Australia, New Zealand and the Mediterranean together.

Hamilton attended the First Baptist Dallas Church and is now a preacher at the Bethel Baptist Church in Plainview, according to the Voice.

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