Don’t Evict Gay Man Who Lost His Partner

Target: Carole DeMaio, niece of Bill Cornwell

Goal: Do not evict Tom Doyle, your uncle’s gay partner, when he should be able to stay in the home he shared with your uncle.

Bill Cornwell and Tom Doyle were a gay couple who lived together in a brownstone in the West Village of New York City for more than 50 years. When Cornwell passed away, his will stated that their now valuable apartment would be left to Doyle. Only one witness signed the will, making it invalid, and Cornwell’s family is now fighting Doyle over the apartment. Demand the family recognize the legitimacy of Cornwell and Doyle’s relationship and let Doyle keep his home.

Cornwell and Doyle were together for decades when marriage inequality and discrimination played an enormous role in the lives of LGBT couples. The LGBT community has made great strides to have the same human rights as heterosexual couples. Rather than supporting these rights and respecting the wishes of their late uncle, the nieces and nephews of Bill Cornwell have apparently chosen to fight Cornwell’s 85-year-old partner over the home he shared with the love of his life.

Doyle says he wants the apartment so he can have a place to live that reminds him of the life he shared with Cornwell, and so he won’t have to live in a nursing home. The apartment building is now valued at over $7 million. This is a probable reason as to why the family claims ownership so they can evict Doyle and sell the building. The family reportedly refuses to accept that the men were a couple, and instead says the couple were just great friends.

Evicting an 85-year-old man from his longtime home is already wrong, but to do so after he shared that home with his partner who left the building to him is disgusting and unacceptable. Demand the Cornwell family let Tom Doyle keep the home he shared with his partner Bill Cornwell.


Dear Mrs. DeMaio,

Your uncle recently passed away and, in his will, left his apartment building to his gay partner of over 50 years. Because the will was not signed by two witnesses, it is considered invalid in New York. While it would make sense to respect your uncle’s wishes and his partner’s life, it seems you have chosen to exploit this loophole to take the building for yourself because it is now worth millions of dollars.

If the building wasn’t worth anything, it’s safe to assume you would not be attempting to evict the elderly man who your uncle loved and shared a life with for so many years. These men witnessed so many progressive leaps and bounds for gay couples, yet you are choosing to discriminate against them all for the sake of money. Your uncle’s partner, Tom Doyle, deserves the brownstone he shared with the love of his life. I that demand you let Doyle stay in the apartment and remain in his longtime home, as he rightfully deserves.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: krytofr

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