More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
UPDATE: Arkansas Paper to Change Policy; Will Apologize to Man Omitted From Partner's Obituary
UPDATE 3:31 PM: The Batesville Guard has now offered to print John Millican's obituary without any edits. GLAAD will pay the paper's insertion fee, and the paper says it will donate that fee in John's memory, to the charity of Terrance's choice. Terrance has accepted this offer.
UPDATE 1:08 PM : GLAAD has spoken with Terrance James, and has put him in touch with the Batesville Guard, which expressed a desire to apologize to him for this incident directly.
On Wednesday, GLAAD read of the disturbing situation in Batesville, Arkansas. As Queerty reported:
When it became clear that John Christopher Millican would not recover, his partner of 10 years, Terrance James, was the only person at his side. Alone, he made the difficult decision to end the life support. Mr. Millican passed away on June 11th of this year.
Wrought with grief, Mr. James filled out the paperwork for his late partner’s obituary for the local publication, the Batesville Guard. When the obituary ran, however, it listed the names of Millican’s deceased parents, his siblings, with whom he had little contact, but no mention of Terrance James or even that there was a surviving partner.
GLAAD, like Queerty, reached out to the paper to address this awful injustice. The paper is already in the process of re-writing the Obituary policy, to ensure this will never happen again. The paper accepted GLAAD’s offer to provide suggestions on how to improve their policy to recognize the dignity of gay people.
The paper’s spokesperson, Oscar Jones, told GLAAD, “When a gay person loses their partner, the loss is no less, and they need to be treated the same.” Thanks to HRC, the Center for Artistic Revolution, and other advocates for their work on this issue.