Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dissed In Death

We have control over many things in life but in death our wishes may not be respected.
Lambda Legal Urges Court to Rule in Florida Case Seeking Accurate Death Certificates
June 20, 2016

Lambda Legal today announced it has filed papers with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida asking the court for a swift end to the harm and indignity that Florida same-sex spouses, like gay widowers Hal Birchfield and Paul Mocko, face when denied accurate death certificates that acknowledge they were married and recognize them as surviving spouses.

Karen Loewy, Senior Attorney for Lambda Legal, said:
Florida’s state officials are talking out of both sides of their mouths when they express their concern for the LGBT community in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando all the while refusing to take responsibility for their history of discrimination against LGBT people.

These officials cannot continue to pretend that recent rulings that protect the LGBT community, like the Supreme Court’s historic ruling almost one year ago today in Obergefell v. Hodges, do not apply to them. Every day that Hal, Paul, and other surviving same-sex spouses in Florida don’t have accurate death certificates for their loved ones is another day they are forced to bear the burden of discrimination and are denied the protections available to surviving different-sex spouses.
This is not just a problem for lesbians and gays; it is also a problem for trans people. Many times the death certificate lists our gender assigned at birth and not our true gender. You could have lived all your life in your true gender, had surgery and changed your birth certificate but all it takes to erase your whole life is a stroke of a pen by a doctor.

Many times it is family that does this and not respect your wishes. Other times it is the doctor who does this out of ignorance or bias.

When we were passing the birth certificate bill one of the things that we questioned was do we need a law for the death certificates and the response by the lawyers was no. There are no statutes mandate the information on your death certificate and the gender should follow the gender on your birth certificate.

Only time or a court case will tell if this is true or not.

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