Refused Son’s Body Because He Was Gay
One of the most respectful things a family can do when a loved one dies is to claim the body of the deceased. Sadly, for one victim of the horrible tragedy that happened in Orlando, this would not be the case.
The reason? His father refused to claim the body because his son was gay.
Orlando Latino is reporting the story about the entire sorry situation. We were horrified at the blog to learn that a dad would not receive his own son’s remains because he was at a gay bar (Pulse Night Club).
Apparently, the father did not approve of his son’s homosexuality.
After much arm pulling, it appears that the young Puerto Rican’s family decided to claim the body. The deceased name is being kept private out of respect.
This is an important reminder to all of us in the LGBTQ community that identifying our sexual orientation remains difficult for many.
Below you will find an excerpt from the article. We would like to take the opportunity to editorially say the following to the father:
SHAME ON YOU! You disrespect the memory of your son and your entire family by not receiving your son’s body. You also dishonor all who died that night and the survivors.
Your son was gay. He was slaughtered through no fault of his own that terrible night at Pulse.
Years from now, when you have arrived at a different place emotionally, perhaps you will have different feelings about your child’s sexual orientation.
The problem is that it will be too late – your hate ruined the last honor you could pay to him – and to his memory. You will have to now live with this for the rest of your days on earth.
What follows is the information from the article – and we warn you it is difficult read:
“We effectively and efficiently completed the identification, notification and autopsy process within a 72-hour period – a monumental task,” according to an earlier statement by OCME, which worked with the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System to complete the gruesome task.
But it was touch and go for one particular shooting victim whose father didn’t want to claim the body. Because the son was gay. Because the father was ashamed. Finally and after much convincing, the body was released to Orlando-area relatives.
This young man shall remain anonymous so as not to further victimize the deceased, who was Puerto Rican. But Orlando Latino confirmed the information with several sources. The tale is part of the untold stories of the Latino victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
The fact is, Puerto Ricans on the island are socially conservative and oftentimes anti-LGBT. While the U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was constitutional in June 2015, gay marriage didn’t reach Puerto Rico until April 2016 – 10 months after the highest court’s ruling – because a San Juan district court said the Supreme Court’s decision didn’t apply to Puerto Rico.
“The district court’s ruling errs in so many respects that it is hard to know where to begin,” wrote the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston in slapping down Puerto Rico’s claim.
But the local court didn’t “err” in reflecting the island’s social conservatism, an attitude it shares with many other Spanish-speaking countries.”