Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gays not welcome at Rhode Island Cemetary

Rick Paolino's gay civil partner Justin died suddenly at home last
month and was buried at St Ann's Cemetery. When he went back a month
later to order the inscription on the gravestone, he was shocked
when cemetery officials turned down his requests for the words "late
husband", "spouse" and even "beloved".

Bereaved Mr Paolino feels that he would like their relationship to
be acknowledged. "In two or three hundred years when that name is
there, I want someone to know that this person loved this person."

"It really hurts because I really feel that they've tossed me aside
and tossed my feelings aside and my love for a person aside and that
person's love for me aside," he told the station.

The cemetery comes under the Catholic diocese of Providence who have
the final say on headstone inscriptions with a view to "to uphold
the dignity of the cemetery"

Mr Paolino said that he wasn't asking the Catholic church to
recognize gay marriages, but his love for his late partner and if
the diocese failed to reconsider his inscription request, he would
consider transferring Justin's remains to a cemetery in
Massachusetts near where the couple married.


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