Above: my video interview with Paul Hard in Montgomery last week.
When Pat Fancher approached Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law, she was trying not to be Paul Hard’s former mother-in-law. Her son David had fallen in love with Hard years before, and the two men were married in Massachusetts just months before David died in a tragic accident. But Pat never accepted her son’s marriage, much less his ‘lifestyle choices,’ so when Hard sued for wrongful death she decided to intervene.
After all, she reasoned, if gay marriage was illegal in Alabama, then Paul was never married to her son, and so she should be the one to collect any loot recovered for David’s untimely demise. Not that she was only after the money, of course — that was the whole point of asking Moore’s organization for legal assistance. If Hard had the support of the Southern Poverty Law Center in his suit against the state of Alabama, why shouldn’t she stand up for the freedom of bigots to invoke centralized state regulation of who gets to love whom? The money was just icing on a homophobic cake for her.
Yet things are not working out for Pat, or for Moore’s foundation, or for the culture warriors who reckon that making things as horrible as possible for people like Paul Hard will magically encourage Teh Gayz to stop being that way. Instead, the Supreme Court has mooted the question of whether Hard was really David’s husband, and now a federal judge has lifted the stay to award the proceeds of the wrongful death suit to Mr. Hard. But Pat wasn’t going to take it lying down, oh no, so she argued that the Obergefell decision was not retroactive, and asked the federal court to reconsider their decision. No one was going to make her into the ex-mother-in-law of a gay man, no sir!
Hard’s response below is a simple, elegant, and eloquent retort to Pat Fancher’s desperate filing. Despite her best efforts to remain unrelated to him by marriage, it is increasingly clear that she must wear the title of mother-in-law to Alabama’s most well-known marriage equality litigant. Her attempts to avoid being Paul Hard’s relative by marriage have actually helped every gay couple who will ever live in the Heart of Dixie ever again by ensuring full and complete legal recognition for every aspect of their marriages. It might not be the legacy she was looking for, but it’s the one she will now have regardless.
Courtesy of Equality Case Files