On June 22, we at Queerty followed a tip on Facebook and reported that the Batesville Guard, a local Arkansas newspaper, omitted the surviving same-sex partner from his late partner’s obituary. The general manager of the paper told us that “It’s not a gay thing. We don’t list unmarried couples, in-laws, or pets in the free obituaries.”
Well, GLAAD picked up on our piece and jumped into action. Director of Communications at GLAAD, Rich Ferrarro writes:
GLAAD, like Queerty, reached out to the paper to address this awful injustice. The paper is now in the process of re-writing the obituary policy, to ensure this would 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.” He expressed sympathy for Mr. James, and stated an interest in apologizing to him directly if given the opportunity.
GLAAD has asked the paper to re-run Mr. Millican’s obituary and to include his partner’s name.
In the hot mess of queer news, scantily clad boys, and genuine reporting that we do over here at Queerty, it warms the cockles of this blogger’s little heart to know that the world is changing, even if in small ways, at least occasionally. Please keep the news tips flowing to firstname.lastname@example.org. You never know what might happen.