What ever happened to smiting?
this isn't exactly surprising. congress must change hands, the presidency must remain in demococratic hands, and the senate must become more democratic before DOMA can go away. so, don't hold your breath in a nation full of mouth-breathing zombies.

i hope the deceased's family respect her partner's wishes.
How revolting.

Obviously, Indiana is not interested in having gay or lesbian people--or anyone who values the civil rights of gay and lesbian people--locate within their state, whether as residents or visitors.

Duly noted.
I mean, smiting Maggie Gallagher and her ilk, of course.
I thought it was federal law or something that a lawful marriage performed in another state had to be recognized by other states, even if that marriage could not be performed lawfully within those other states? Fuck me, DOMA is toxic.
Dear God that's horrible.

It's fucking sick! It's just wrong to do this to people!!

Who is served by an action like this? What marriage ANYWHERE is made stronger by bullshit legal torture like this?

This is beyond barbaric.
Doing unto others the most mean spirited things.
I have had friends go to lawyers to sign every conceivable document, agreement and arrangement specifically to protect themselves, their children and their property rights, only to get caught at the morgue when one couldn't claim the body of the other.
You were right about the federal law that recognizes and protects marriages across state lines. It's called the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and thanks to DOMA, it only applies to straight people.
@4 But smiting is such a god-like power, while puking in her mouth would have much, much more of a tangible, visceral satisfaction. I think...
And if you do so, Dan (vomit in her mouth), please film it and put it on Slog for all your readers' viewing pleasure. It would make my day, if not my week.

'partner' is a pretty vague term.
'next of kin' is not.

many states have amended their constitution to
outlaw homosexual marriage,
and also not to recognize homosexual marriages
or civil unions
from other states.

if you don't want your 'partner's' body
rotting in the morgue don't go to one of those states....
The governor who was so proud of his "Heroic Hoosiers" now has a chance to step up and do something heroic himself - order the coroner to release Santiago's body (provided he has the authority and if not at least pressure him to do so).

please duly note that lots of states fit that bill...
She should perform a sit in. Come to the morgue every day and refuse to leave until the body is released. Shit, she should have support and have others join her. That's what I would do in her situation. Make the bastards see the face of the surviving partner every goddamn day.
@9: It's not just a law: it's part of the motherfuckin' constitution. Which seems to me to mean that DOMA is unconstitutional. But I'm not a lawyer, so what do I know.
Bilerico regular commenter and activist Zach Adamson is running for Indianapolis City Council right now - maybe he can help.

(Update from Bilerico:)
NOTE: This story has been updated to include the information that Santiago's aunt will be allowed to claim the body.

UPDATE: Alfarena Ballew from the Marion County Coroner's office called 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." Ms. Ballew described the incident as a "misunderstanding" and says the office is on track to release the body shortly.
humans love to be cruel to each other. it's a total bummer.
many states have amended their constitution to
outlaw homosexual marriage,
and also not to recognize homosexual marriages
or civil unions
from other states.

Whether they "recognize" those contracts or not seems irrelevant so long as the parties to that contract are residents of a state that does recognize the contract. I don't see how Indiana can claim that states rights trumps Full Faith & Credit. I could see revoking those contractual rights if the parties in question had applied for residency in Indiana, but that's clearly not what happened here.
I'm glad the aunt is stepping in to help. That doesn't happen in every situation.

And, @12, fuck you. That's probably the shittiest, meanest thing I've read in a month. Just because they enacted these laws doesn't make it right. The article refers to her as a "partner," but I don't know if they were legally married or not. Since the coronor specifically cited DOMA, not state law, I'm going to infer that they actually might have been legally married. I don't know if they were or not -- neither do you.

I don't know why they were in Indiana. I don't know if they moved there -- but it sure sounds like they don't since the deceased works in CHICAGO. Maybe they were visiting relatives, came specifically for the concert, had to go there for work, or were just passing through. It doesn't matter. Simply saying "if you don't want your 'partner's' body rotting in the morgue don't go to one of those states" is pretty cold, callous, and cruel thing to say. I'm pretty fucking sure that Christina Santiago didn't plan to die that day.

And get a real login so your assholery can be tracked, you fucking coward.
@12 No, stupid troll, it is not vague. "Next of kin" is a hell of a lot more vague, and far harder to prove. You suck.
@19 The Full Faith and Credit clause permits Congress to legislate on the effect of one state's laws in another. That's what DOMA does.
The organization Christina Santiago helped lead is saying the story isn't true.…

@12 Fuck off, seriously.

Just when I thought we had problems in England I realise that we have it (comparably) easy.
Dan: per Amigas Latinas, Santiago's employer, this story is not accurate:

Amigas Latinas
Amig@s. 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. Please intervene if you see this news...…

yeah, Danny fucked another story up.

no news there.......
Amigas Latinas isn't her employer. But, yes, according to sources in Chicago, it isn't true and people would like it corrected where you see it.

she was her "partner"...

for two whole years.

how exactly do you prove "partner"?

should morgues hand out dead bodies to anyone claiming to be a "partner"?

you blow.
Indiana sucks
Horrifying. I hardly even have the energy to get politically pissed off, I'm so heartbroken for the widow.
This was sent to one of my Facebook friends who sent them an email.

Ballew, Alfie T

I have no idea where that is coming from. Christina's wife was never denied any opportunity. The aunt and friends are all working together to take care of things while her spouse is recovering. Please spread the word!

Alfarena Ballew
Quick reply from my BlackBerry.
Wait...Savage didn't fact check one of his postings!? NO!!!! That's never happened before. Ever. I mean, he's scrupulously honest, and unbiased and a 5 star journalist!

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
@20 - Awesome post. It's hard to find decent people in comment threads but you're definitely one! =)

Seattleblues, the fact that people were ready to believe the story of Ms Santiago's widow being denied rights to the body is because it is an all too common occurrence, and one of the many reasons marriage equality is so important. In this case, family and friends have gathered round the bereaved, and happily she has been spared that added torment.
Many others in the same situation, particularly in states like Indiana, have not been so lucky.
And that, is because of people, Just. Like. You.
You are a bad person.
@28: Bring in the license. Same as how you'd prove that you are the spouse of the deceased.
@32: This coming from a man who never provides any facts to check...but makes pretty dramatic claims nonetheless.
I don't have to be particularly angry to want to throw up in Maggie Gallagher's mouth. looking at her face usually does it to me.
@ 32, 35 - But that doesn't matter (to SB), because HE's not a journalist.

He's just an incoherent, bile-spewing asshole, as we all know already.
An LGBTQ blogger at posted a claim that Indiana was using DOMA to refuse to release Christina's body to her partner. His claim is spreading around the nation and it appears to have NO BASIS IN TRUTH. He has posted a weak update (rather than a retraction), but people are going ballistic and contacting media, the state of Indiana, etc.

It's despicable that Bil Browning has taken advantage of a terrible tragedy to promote unfounded rumors from anonymous sources to further his own agenda. His purely selfish, offensive manipulation of the facts of the situation should be exposed in every article that has since picked up his distortion. Demand that he put the truth at the TOP of his blog post and apologize for his action and the resulting turmoil he has introduced into the already shattered lives of Christina's family and community.

Please do what you can to stop this misinformation from spreading further.

And shame on you, Dan Savage, for blindly propagating this mess.
It is most likely that Dan posted this BEFORE the updates correcting the misunderstanding were made. Dan is pretty fair minded and I have no doubt he will rectify his post should it be necessary.

But, honestly, isn't that "knee-jerk" reaction understandable? It would seem the original report would be the more likely story in this situation. Rarely have same-sex partners been treated differently. So it's easy to believe sadly.
How sad that they use the Bible to deny the deceased to rest in peace. I thought Christianity was a religion of forgiveness for one's sins. Instead they'd rather let this woman decompose in a morgue than to allow her to be released to someone who loves her. Makes me glad i don't live in Indiana.
How sad that they would allow her remains to decompose in the morgue instead of releasing them to someone who loves her. This doesn't allow the dead to rest in peace, and its unnecessary misery for the one she left behind. I thought Christianity is supposed to be about forgiveness from sin. Makes me glad I don't live in Indiana.
How sad to double post
35 what license moron?
They'd rather bury that poor woman at the taxpayers' expense than let her partner do it? That's all kinds of stupid.
Dan, that Indiana used DOMA to refuse to release the remains to her partner is looking like more myth than fact. Can you fact-check it and let us, your loyal readers, know what the story is? Thanks!
@43: One like this one, turkey-tits.
You're on safe territory here, blaming it all on those dastardly Republicans while your Fierce Advocate from the "It gets better" video gets off scot-free. Tell me Dan, do you think it's going to "get better" for Dan Choi in prison?
Illinois Public radio did some checking into this story- perhaps not as cut and dry.…
Illinois pubic radio checked this out and the story is now a bit different.…
I'm 100% for repealing DOMA.

I just called the Marion County Coroner's office to politely express my disdain, but decided to ask, first, whether or not it was true that they were not releasing the body of Santiago to her partner. The woman in the Coroner's office said that Santiago's partner, Brennon, who was injured in the accident, is still in the hospital and hasn't contacted the Coroner yet--but Santiago's family has been visiting Brennon and is doing the legwork of removing Santiago's body while she's in the hospital.

Of course this could be a pack of lies, and it's much easier to have something to be angry about...but won't repealing DOMA happen more quickly if we get pissed about actual factual things? Call the Coroner at (317) 327-4744 to verify for yourself.
please, don't call the Coroner. these people have work to do for Xrist sake. there is no reason to inundate them with phone calls about a story that actual reporters have actually discovered is actually untrue.

dan is great when talking about santorum (the most minor of all candidates - important only in Dan's mind), but he is not now and never has been a reporter. he links to stories that allow him to rant and simply does not check the stories to see if they are factual.

wouldn't surprise me if he wishes it were true. instead, we'll have to settle for the lame "it apparently didn't happen in this case, but it very easily could..." line of reasoning.
All the local reports here are that her partner is still in the hospital, and therefore hasn't even has a chance to attempt to claim the body. Whether or not they would have released it to her is a different question, but it certainly seems that this is a serious overreaction.

And, that said, Indiana's policies on gay people and the recognition of our legal relationships sucks beyond words, and it's likely that this could happen any may have happened in other cases. But this one seems pretty clearly wrong. And I'm impressed that in discussing the issue, the spokesperson for the coroner's office called the surviving partner "her wife" - hardly rampant homophobia, at least in that comment.

Indiana sucks on same-sex rights, but I don't think they actually got the chance to do this one wrong.
Speaking as someone who had lived in Indiana for nearly 21 years (specifically Bloomington, go Hoosiers!), I know first hand that parts of Indiana are either homophobic, or racist. We were lucky enough to have a Lesbian and Gay community in my high school, but If we left town, we were treated like crap from neighboring communities. Our basketball teams bus was vandalized by a bunch of people who didnt like the fact we had more black kids on our team than whites.

Indiana is not known for tolerance. For goodness sakes it wanted to join the souths causes when they left the union. So even if this story was over inflated propaganda, which it was, we should take time to look at their prejudices against homosexuals, blacks, Hispanics, etc. We should look at all states that enact DOMA or their own version, and ask them why the heck it's any of their business who gets married.

Because separation of church and state was supposed to prevent religious ideas pervading our government. And isn't DOMA a prime example of ignorance and intolerance dominating our lives when it has no business doing so?
Danny is a pathetic fuckup

“The wife (Brennon) never contacted us to claim the body so she was never denied that opportunity,” said Alfarea Ballew, chief deputy coroner of the Marion County Coroner’s Office. “The wife is still hospitalized. We’re working with the friends and aunt (of Santiago) to release the body. I’ve never talked to anybody denying the wife that opportunity.”
So when will Danny apologize and retract?

perhaps he is sooooo ANGRY! at his own stupidity he is repeatedly throwing up in his own mouth.......
source post has been pulled pending verification... can someone please confirm this story?…
Danny is a maggot
who can only survive in the feces of human misery.

Abused children give Danny a hardon.

Mistreated homos make Danny wet.
(so much that he makes up stories
just to get herself all hot and bothered....)

Molesting clergy make Danny green with envy

and homophobic closeted politicians make Danny quiver...
Dan, you can still go ahead and throw up in Maggie Gallagher's mouth.
@32 I'm coming in late, but, once again Seattleblues, don't use words like "facts" when you've demonstrated repeatedly that you don't know what they mean.
"UPDATE: These sorts of things have happened—...."

what a pussy weasel our Danny is.
"UPDATE: ....—but it didn't happen:..."

there now.

that wasnt so hard, Danny, was it?

now go wash the car.....
Indiana is a very conservative state. I do business there alot. Not all, but there are alot of people with very old school thinking. They think the world should be viewed based on how they think. "if I think it, then everyone should think it" I hope this tragedy puts pressure and draws alot of media attention to their total lack of heart. To be honest, if you're over touting what christians you are, then you're hiding behind something. Stop saying you're a christian and just be one. If you're letting this girl sit in a morgue over your "p#*@$ match, snap out of it and then this state should be written off the map. All she did was go to a concert and supported you people. This is what she gets? Stand up group of people hoosiers!!

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