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Elderly Gay Couple's Life Together Destroyed by Discrimination

Dan Savage at Slog points us to this story, which is really tragic and infuriating:

HouseClay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes...

And that's only the very, very beginning of this story. Head over to NCLR to read more about this awful case they're helping fight....

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Comments

  1. They had all their paperwork in place, and the country decided to pursue this course anyway? What kind of dipsticks are in positions of authority there to leave the county wide open to liability that way? They should be made to pay and pay and pay for that cruelty. And everyone that contributed to the decisions that brought about this tragedy should be hounded to the ends of the fucking earth.

    Let's get on it.

    Posted by: romeo | Apr 19, 2010 11:30:54 AM


  2. Every health care worker, RN's, physicians, county officials, and nursing home administrators who participated in this injustice should be fired. Not one cent will I ever again pay to anything that supports Sonoma County!!!

    Posted by: Scott Farmer | Apr 19, 2010 12:27:42 PM


  3. I agree with the comments about this hideous injustice. What if we all donated to a fund directly for Clay so he can start to rebuild his life. I know it will be so empty without his partner but he does still need to live and eat and pay rent. I am not sure who could make sure he got it.

    Posted by: Rann | Apr 19, 2010 2:00:53 PM


  4. OMG, What the fuck is wrong with these people? That's just sick and inhuman on everyt level I can think of!

    Posted by: Dawnell_do | Apr 19, 2010 6:15:32 PM


  5. Sorry Barack...that's why it NEEDS TO BE MARRIAGE EQUALITY.
    Nothing More Nothing less than EQUAL RIGHTS.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Apr 19, 2010 8:12:51 PM


  6. Obama recently signed a bill that prevents this from happening. Again this kind of discrimination simply shows the ignorance and mis-understanding of people about what one would call, common compassion about another human being... L O V E !

    Posted by: Bobel | Apr 19, 2010 9:19:56 PM


  7. This makes me want to vomit. And kill someone.

    Maybe this should happen to Obama and Pelosi - so they can experience what we face.

    Posted by: Shane | Apr 20, 2010 9:23:27 AM


  8. I find myself wondering if the people involved realize the gravity of their actions concerning those pesky little legal documents known as medical directives. People should indeed be fired for this, as well as legal actions against those parties involved. I'd suggest legal actions against the hospital but they're having enough trouble getting paid as it is. Too bad the new healthcare plan doesn't go into effect until after we're all supposed to be dead in 2012!

    Posted by: Letters to Stupid People | Apr 21, 2010 1:31:05 AM


  9. It is not right for the 2 people to be treated this way. We don't have to judge people base on their sexual preference. They are entitled to live with a life free of any kind of discrimination. They too have dignity, and we are not God to judge just like that.

    Posted by: Senior Homes | Apr 21, 2010 2:43:36 AM


  10. The Sonoma Prosecutor for this case just emailed me. Apparently there is more to this story:

    Thank you for your email regarding the Harold Scull and Clay Greene matter involving the Sonoma County Public Guardian’s Office. We appreciate the concern that has been expressed by the comments received and know that when the full facts are able to be revealed there will be a better understanding. It is the policy of this department not to disclose confidential matters concerning clients assisted by the agencies operating under its direction. This is consistent with federal and state privacy laws.

    What can be legally shared at this point is as follows: The Sonoma County Public Guardian became involved in this matter as a result of a report from Harold Scull that Clay Greene had physically assaulted him, resulting in Mr. Scull's hospitalization. Mr. Greene's domestic violence against Mr. Scull has been independently verified during the course of litigation, including reports of witnesses who tended to Mr. Scull following his hospitalization. While criminal charges were not filed, that does not mean there was no domestic violence. In order to file criminal charges, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard known in the law.


    Recent online commentary reflects a distorted presentation of the underlying facts. The County is confident that when the full facts can be discussed they will show the individuals involved received appropriate services. More importantly, we are confident that the facts will show that the services received by Mr. Scull and Mr. Greene reflect the ongoing commitment to protect vulnerable citizens from harm and that no issues of discrimination were present.

    Unfortunately, it appears the Plaintiffs are trying to litigate this case through the internet and the press – trying to spin the case as one of insensitivity towards people who happen to be gay by County Staff. In fact, this case is really about domestic violence and the statutory obligation the County has to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse and harm.

    The heart of this case is protecting an elder victim of domestic violence. That’s why the Public Guardian’s Office took the actions it did. The County has a long history of taking a strong stand against domestic violence no matter who is the victim.

    Very truly yours,

    Joshua A. Myers
    Deputy County Counsel
    Sonoma County Counsel's Office


    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2010 11:15:36 PM


  11. it is a sad state of affairs. My partner and I have shared 34 years together and we have all of the legal paperwork in place as well. So much for that, huh? It concerns me as he is HIV positive and a day will come where he'll finally succumb to either the meds or the disease and to think that someone would try to keep us apart is genuinely frightening.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 23, 2010 3:15:58 PM


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