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.
Pat Jones, the general manager of the Batesville Daily Guard, told Queerty: “It’s not a gay thing. We don’t list unmarried couples, in-laws, or pets in the free obituaries.”
Oscar Jones, an attorney whose family has run the paper for over 80 years, told KARK-4 that the paper's obituary policy has always been only to include in its free obituaries the names of legally recognized spouses. Arkansas only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.
Oscar Jones conceded, however, that the paper's policy "should be reviewed."
The Center for Artistic Revolution, an LGBTQ equal rights organization in Little Rock that has called for the paper to change its policy, notes that the Batesville Daily Guard was the local paper that covered the story of Clint McCance, the Arkansas School Board member who last fall made headlines when he wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted "fags" to commit suicide.