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GLAAD Petitions Ark. Paper Over Obit

GLAAD Petitions Ark. Paper Over Obit

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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation today started an online petition calling on an Arkansas newspaper to revise and rerun an obituary that, in its original publication, excluded the deceased man's same-sex partner.

GLAAD also demands an apology from The Batesville Daily Guard to Terrance James, the partner of John Christopher Millican. The two men had been together for 10 years when Millican died June 11. GLAAD officials said they had received assurances from the paper last week that it would rerun the obit, revise its policy, and apologize to James, but instead it published an editorial saying the paper had made its policy clear to him -- it does not run names of unmarried partners in obits -- and accusing James of lying and pursuing an "agenda."

"When someone is mourning the loss of the most important person in their life, it only adds to the immense pain to have a newspaper edit away your very existence and effectively erase the years of love, struggle, and good times," said Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at GLAAD. "The Guard's editorial reaction was even more hurtful and disrespectful. Now is the time for an apology and for policies to ensure this never happens again."

The Human Rights Campaign also has a petition, and the Arkansas gay rights group Center for Artistic Revolution is overseeing the local response. Find GLAAD's petition here and HRC's here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.