Devastating: New Ad Shows Grieving Widow Turned Away by Funeral Home Because She’s a Lesbian

A grieving widow has just lost her spouse. She, her parents, and her in-laws enter a funeral home to arrange burial services. But they are turned away when the staff realize that the woman and her late spouse are lesbians.This story, inspired by a real legal case, is the center of a new ad, “Funeral Home,” produced by MAP as part of the Open to All public education campaign. Open to All is a nationwide public engagement campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws—and the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

People think discrimination like this couldn’t happen, but it does and it did.

“Funeral Home” is the latest in a series of ads that illustrate how a loss in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case would open the door to wide-ranging forms of discrimination. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission involves a Colorado bakery that discriminated against, and refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. A decision is expected by June. A ruling for the bakery in this case could sanction and encourage this type of discrimination not just against LGBT people, but also interfaith couples, people of color, women, people with disabilities, and others.

The ad launch received considerable media attention, helping MAP reach a wider audience. Check out some of the top media hits:

Salon Exclusive: ‘Beyond wedding cakes to funerals: The high stakes of Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS case’

Today, Salon published an in-depth exclusive examining the high stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission involves a Colorado bakery that discriminated against, and refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. A decision is expected by June.

The article begins with asking a tough question: Can a pivotal Supreme Court ruling lead to “heterosexuals only” signs in front of businesses?

The story was spurred by the release of a new, hard-hitting ad produced by MAP called Funeral Home, which depicts a grieving widow who has just lost her spouse. She, her parents, and her in-laws enter a funeral home to arrange burial services. But they are turned away when the staff realize that the woman and her late spouse are lesbians.

The ad was produced as part of the Open to All public education campaign. This story, inspired by a real legal case, demonstrates how a loss in Masterpiece would open the door to much wider ranging forms of discrimination—including what the grieving widow in the ad faced.

Read more about the new ad in the Salon exclusive ‘Beyond wedding cakes to funerals: The high stakes of Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS case’.

New Partnership Between MAP and Trulia

If you’re part of the LGBT community and looking for a house or apartment, how do you know if the neighborhood you’re interested in protects you from discrimination?

Today, the Movement Advancement Project partnered with Trulia, an online real estate and rental listing service, to release an innovative, first-of-its-kind tool to answer exactly that question. This dynamic tool shows the level of state and local protections for LGBT people in different areas and neighborhoods, to help home-buyers and apartment-hunters make more informed decisions about where to live, given that legal protections for LGBT people vary widely from state to state and even city to city.

The new Local Level Protections feature from Trulia and MAP informs home buyers about whether a neighborhood offers nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment and public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This feature is powered by MAP’s LGBT Equality Maps, which track federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws, among many other LGBT-related policies. MAP provided the data essential to building this new feature, including a database of more than 300 local city and county ordinances that prohibit discrimination.

Our MAP-Trulia collaboration and the Local Level Protections feature has received widespread media coverage, illustrating the value and innovation of this tool. These are just a few examples of our coverage already:

Choosing a home is one of the most significant decisions in people’s lives. For LGBT people, a primary consideration isn’t just the house, but whether they will be moving to a neighborhood where they are protected against discrimination. This groundbreaking feature will help LGBT people look not only for the right home, but also the right community.

For a more comprehensive look at nondiscrimination and other legal protections across the country, visit MAP’s LGBT Equality Maps.

Click here to donate to MAP to ensure we can continue to provide the most accurate, up-to-date tracking of LGBT laws and policies!