The US newspaper that offered to apologise for not listing a gay man as his late partner’s survivor in an obituary has changed its position, accusing him of having “an agenda”.
After his partner of 10 years, John Christopher Millican, passed away on June 11th, Terrance James wrote and submitted a free obituary to the Batesville Guard.
The Arkansas newspaper, however, deleted references to James and to Millican having a surviving partner in the obituary, insisting that it only listed legal spouses as surviving partners, despite the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state.
After being approached by gay groups last week, the newspaper offered to apologise to James and to republish his full obituary and revise its obituary policy.
On Friday, however the newspaper reversed its position entirely, publishing an editorial to “set the record straight”. It accused James of having his “own AGENDA” and of lying to the media.
It also said that James insulted other people’s surviving children by attempting to list the couple’s two cats and dog as children in the obituary.
The Guard insisted that its policy of not listing surviving life partners and only married spouses is legitimate and applies to “everyone”, but did not acknowledge that James never had the option to marry Millican.
The newspaper boldly concluded that “The Guard does not owe Mr. James a free obituary or an apology.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched an