Discrimination | Kansas City | Missouri | News

Gay Man Arrested at Hospital for Refusing to Leave Sick Partner's Bedside: VIDEO


Roger Gorley was arrested at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday after he refused to leave the bedside of his sick partner Allen, WDAF reports:

He says when he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave. When Gorley refused, he says hospital security forcibly removed him from the property and put him in handcuffs.

“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley said.

While not legally recognized as a couple in Missouri, Gorley says he and his partner Allen have been in a civil union for nearly five years, and make medical decisions for each other. He says the nurse refused to verify they also share joint Power of Attorney.

“She didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it,” Gorley said. “He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”

The hospital released this statement, saying it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation:

We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.


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  1. Well, this is Missouri, after all. They're all good Christians just full of 'love' not animus towards us.
    So - where does this go from here? IANAL, but it does seem as though this is a clear violation of President Obama's executive order.
    Are there any lawyers around (Ari?) who can help these poor men get justice?

    Posted by: enough already | Apr 11, 2013 11:43:49 AM

  2. This is tragic. But, hopefully, visibility will become more widespread as a result and people will see how awful this is. Unfortunately, it happens far too often - with no solace to the LGBT couples.

    Posted by: guynyc | Apr 11, 2013 11:44:33 AM

  3. Until marriage equality come, and it will, its important for all gay couples to have every piece of paperwork available to them (Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, etc.) Let's take care of ourselves and each other.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 11, 2013 11:55:21 AM

  4. Wait - he told the nurse to 'look up' his civil union and power of attorney? Sorry but that is not good enough. Why didn't he bring the paperwork with him? Still a horrible story, and a very cavalier press release from the hospital.

    Posted by: spraypaintedgold | Apr 11, 2013 11:58:42 AM

  5. Very simply, they denied these two their legal rights. Period.

    Posted by: Micklest | Apr 11, 2013 12:04:51 PM

  6. "We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. "

    The definition of the word "family" is the central issue here.

    "And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority."

    Clearly the patient's wishes, which were spelled out clearly in POA paperwork, were not even close to being the "first priority".

    "When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance."

    The disruption to patient care was caused by the utterly inept nursing, medical, and administrative response to a reasonable request from the legal power of attorney for the patient in question.

    I smell a HUGE lawsuit, possibly a quite groundbreaking one. The only way to get this crap to change is to hit them in the pocketbook on the federal level.

    The violation of the Executive Order is clear. Sue.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 11, 2013 12:06:07 PM

  7. Let's see people say the hospital had every right to do this and allow Allen's family terrorize his partner Roger.

    Obama's issued a directive in 2010 stating hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicade had to allow same-sex couples be with their partners in hospitals. Unfortunately, it's just that---a directive, and this sorts of incidents still occur with alarming frequency. There needs to be concrete law banning these sorts of incidents. It also highlights why DOMA needs to be repealed and why marriage equality is so important.

    Such a cruel, mean, heartless thing to do to someone. Inhumane. Tragic. Heart goes out to Roger and especially Allen who is sick and can't be with his partner because of bigoted family, in a time of need.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 11, 2013 12:06:22 PM

  8. Marriage Equality Now! Equal Protection Now! Stories like this one are heart breaking!

    Posted by: Tom in Long Beach | Apr 11, 2013 12:11:19 PM

  9. Marriage Equality Now! Equal Protection Now! Stories like this one are heart breaking!

    Posted by: Tom in Long Beach | Apr 11, 2013 12:11:20 PM

  10. I just wrote a strongly worded email to that motherfucking hospital. I hope they're ready for the onslaught.

    Posted by: Laurie | Apr 11, 2013 12:11:49 PM

  11. This is a totally disgusting action taken by this Missouri hospital and family toward the gay patient's partner. It only proves we must have our full civil rights as legally-recognized couples. My partner and I have our power of attorney docs on file electronically with both local hospitals. So far, there've been no issues with it.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Apr 11, 2013 12:21:25 PM

  12. Thank God we live in Maryland!

    Posted by: Laurie | Apr 11, 2013 12:24:40 PM

  13. @spraypaintedgold

    You don't know how hospitals work, do you? All the nurse had to do was look at or look deeper into the charts, nothing more.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 11, 2013 12:26:42 PM

  14. @spraypaintedgold

    Yeah, because when a loved one is sick enough to be rushed to the hospital, the first thing most people do is go rummaging through their house looking for documents.

    This is one of the PRECISE reasons why this kind of discrimination is so terrible. A heterosexual married couple doesn't have to think-- at a frantic time when most people are panicking-- oh, yeah, I need to search through my desk drawer or drop by the office to make sure I have the proper document.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Apr 11, 2013 12:34:11 PM

  15. It sounds to me like there was a family dispute. The ill man's parent(s) did not want his partner in the room. Then all hell broke out!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Apr 11, 2013 12:38:22 PM

  16. @Steve

    I see your point, but why take any chances when you live in Missouri and your husband's family is clearly hostile to you?

    Posted by: spraypaintedgold | Apr 11, 2013 12:41:09 PM

  17. This is interesting, a case where they had signed all the paperwork before hand, and were still treated unfairly.
    Not to be disrespectful of the hurt they suffered, but this could be a good test case for us, showing clearly the harsh unfairness with which we are treated.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Apr 11, 2013 12:41:32 PM

  18. @bobbyjoe

    Yes. When you are rushing to the hospital is the PRECISE moment when you should grab your power of attorney. And disobeying hospital security is a bad idea for everyone involved. He could have avoided being victimized.

    Posted by: spraypaintedgold | Apr 11, 2013 12:46:01 PM

  19. I don't blame the hospital, I blame Allen's family. Gee, I wonder what they're like....

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 11, 2013 12:51:41 PM

  20. spraypaintedgold: You're not in an actual relationship, are you? I don't think you can possibly understand this situation.

    Posted by: Rey | Apr 11, 2013 12:55:02 PM

  21. Disgraceful

    Posted by: Betty Treacle | Apr 11, 2013 12:57:28 PM

  22. @Rey

    You're all making a lot of assumptions.

    Posted by: spraypaintedgold | Apr 11, 2013 12:59:02 PM

  23. So the hospital automatically takes the word of that so-called family member that s/he *IS* a legitimate family member. Where is *their* paperwork and power of attorney?

    If this was a case of a heterosexual couple and Roger was a woman who claimed to be the wife, even if the alleged family member objected to Roger's presence, would the hospital ask Roger to leave or the other person?

    Posted by: RJ | Apr 11, 2013 1:03:24 PM

  24. interview video won't load.

    Posted by: kodiak | Apr 11, 2013 1:08:15 PM

  25. Yes, one should go into a medical situation with legal papers at the ready to better protect ourselves, but human beings don't always think clearly in an emergency and gay people shouldn't have a special burden to prove to a hospital that their loved one is more than a stranger. If this had been a straight couple, in all likelihood the hospital would have presumed that the partner belonged in the room.

    I can't imagine this happening in my state because there is an assumption that if you come into the hospital with someone, that person is family and they (in my experience) treat you accordingly, just as they would a straight couple. If you say, he's my husband, they take your word for it.

    The broader message, of course, is that we need to eliminate the idiotic patchwork of laws where equality--and treatment--depends on where you live. Meanwhile, protect yourselves as best you can.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 11, 2013 1:10:00 PM

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