Over the weekend at the Indiana State Fair a stage collapsed killing five people. One was Christina Santiago, who was the manager of programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project at Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center. Earlier media reports claimed that the family was in a battle with the state over the remains, but a statement from the family now says otherwise. Details after the jump.
Updated Tuesday, 4:45 p.m. (PST):
A Facebook post from Amigas Latinas, the organization Christina worked for, regarding the media attention that broke this afternoon reads: "We've seen a few posts asking folks to call the media because of a claim that Alisha's wishes aren't being respected because the tragedy took place in Indiana. This is NOT TRUE! We appreciate the passion for equality and justice on behalf of these mujeres, but everyone has been working together to honor Christina Santiago."
Over the weekend at the Indiana State Fair a stage collapsed killing five people. One was Christina Santiago, who was the manager of programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project at Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center. Because of DOMA and Indiana's anti-gay legislation, Santiago's partner, Alisha Brennon, who was also injured in the incident, cannot take her partner's body.
According to Bilerico, "The office cited the Defense of Marriage Act as the reason why they've turned down Brennon's request to pick up her loved one's remains. DOMA allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states."
The Indiana legislature passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions earlier this year. Sponsors of the bill also tried to pass legislation that would have prevented state government from providing domestic partner benefits to LGBT employees and "killed anti-bullying legislation introduced after a 15 year old boy killed himself after being being continuously subjected to anti-gay bullying."
It's been noted that Alfarena Ballew from the Marion County Coroner's office called Bilerico to offer this statement:
"Her friend and her aunt are working together with the life partner to take care of the remains. We have nothing in writing from the partner asking to claim the body. Our records show that the next of kin is her aunt. Our understanding now is that they're all working together to release the body and take care of the services."
Just one of the thousands of tales of tragedy linked with inequality in this land of the free.