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. Sue 'em into the ground.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 11, 2013 1:12:11 PM

  2. ANDY - the video is NOT of the couple. The second guy in the video is the partners son-in-law. The hospitalized guy has not been heard from.

    Posted by: Wisebear | Apr 11, 2013 1:15:56 PM

  3. Something is missing here. Once he was bounced all he had to do was go home and get the copies of the Advance Directives and present them to the hospital.

    The patient's AD trumps whatever some random family member has to say. Well, since we're dealing with bigots and homophobes here, let's say SHOULD trump.

    If all else fails, contact from an attorney and a press conference should pressure the hospital to capitulate.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 1:29:08 PM

  4. I'm withholding judgement until I know all the facts.

    There is something off about this story.

    Posted by: Josh | Apr 11, 2013 1:30:48 PM

  5. Civil partnership should be recognized in all 50 states for male/female, male/male, female/female, period. Although I don't know exactly how you prove under such emotional circumstances that you are indeed close 'family'. If Mr. Gorley was reasonably calm [under the circumstances] he should not have been denied access or arrested, but of course MO doesn't recognize homosexual civil unions and the legal rights of homosexual couples, so legally the close 'family' had have the legal right to deny anyone they choose access, and the institution [hospital] must go along with it. And I'm sure the hospital had rigid policies regarding security and what they consider to be non-compliant visitors. It's private property, so it's their right. They are rigid because of primarily legal liability concerns and the demands of their insurance policy holder.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 11, 2013 1:31:45 PM

  6. The hospital's statement says that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. However, I went to their website and noticed that in their non-discrimination policy they do NOT mention sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 11, 2013 1:41:12 PM

  7. Seems like there's a legal double whammy here - President Obama's executive order AND he had legal Power of Attorney

    Posted by: Greg | Apr 11, 2013 1:51:08 PM

  8. Well once the hospital has the POA on file, he shouldn't have to bring it each time. That is ludicrous as well.

    Sounds like the "family" has issues with their relationship and used the hospital to deal with it.

    Sure sounds like major legal issues, since the hospital took legal action - arresting him and getting a restraining order - when they have the POA on file.

    At the very least they should have taken the time to look for the POA in their system, then left the family to sort out the issues.

    So many parents and families still have issues with gay couples - happens all the time. Even with Wills - family tries to step in and take everything - contest things and just make a bad situation miserable.

    Posted by: HankNYC | Apr 11, 2013 1:56:37 PM

  9. The very idea that a gay spouse/partner should have to produce "papers" whereas a straight "family" member does not have to, is anathema.

    This is just like the Tom Bridegroom story all over.
    Some people were posting last week about our struggle being over once the Supreme Court ruled in our favour on Prop 8 & DOMA.
    Well, not only is that ruling looking in increasing jeopardy with Justice Ginsberg's misgivings on the "too hasty" Roe - Wade, but it is clear that we have a long way to go with vindicating equality issue generally.......even if these two guys were legitimately married, would they have to produce a Marriage licence ?
    If that is the case the struggle will never be done.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 11, 2013 2:02:30 PM

  10. I've been in a similar situation once a few years ago and refused to leave. I told the hospital administrator he could do whatever he wanted to remove me but I was not leaving on my own two feet. I ended out winning but who needs to be having that fight when you're in a crisis situation. I was prepared to do whatever it took to stay...and they got that. I can be one lunatic Italian when you f with me...and at the end of the day...that's what made the difference.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 11, 2013 2:07:23 PM

  11. Let's hope his partner gets better and then turns around and sues his family and hospital and creates legal paperwork forbidding his family from making any decisions on his health.

    Posted by: KuMiCu | Apr 11, 2013 2:08:13 PM

  12. I am also tempering my outrage, not sure we have all the facts. Still out raged but before I start sharing this story I want to know more.

    For instance they guys behavior could have been disorderly. He could have cursed out the nurse and not "asked" her.

    Also I had a relative in the hospital recently who was more or less never going to leave. They were very strict on visitation. Only one person at a time at certain times. This had to be coordinated with everyone so everyone could get a turn. Its possible that something along those lines is where the dispute started. The hospital might have not been saying you cant be here just you cant be here right now.

    This is a great example of why there needs to be a standard on Marriage issues but sadly we get burned all the time by people crying HOMOPHOBIA or GAY ATTACK when it turns out its not entirely true

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 11, 2013 2:08:25 PM

  13. For everyone commenting about President Obama's Executive Order. Yes, it was a directive, but it was adopted as a rule by CMS and the final version that includes sexual orientation and gender identity was issued by CMS on 11/17/10 and took effect on 1/16/11.

    This rule applies to any facility that participates in Medicare and Medicaid and they must abide by it.

    The hospital is required to notify the patient upon admittance of the policy to select their own support persons and the patient does not have to supply written proof unless the patient is incapacitated and a dispute arises between people associated with supporting the patient.

    These are CMS guidelines and they aren't options or up for debate for this hospital.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 2:15:28 PM

  14. Both my partner and I have copies of our Medical Power of Attorney and other documents locked in our glove compartments of the cars. You can bet that it will be in my hand if he's ever taken to the hospital. And I have several copies, all signed, dated and stamped, in case (like has happened in our state in the past) the nurse tears it up.

    Any foolish hospital that doesn't let me be with my partner had better have extremely good security because I will not go quietly or without a struggle.

    Posted by: johnny | Apr 11, 2013 2:19:11 PM

  15. Disgusting.

    Posted by: Ryan | Apr 11, 2013 2:29:06 PM

  16. @Johnny...yep. We do the same thing and all copies are already in the files of our providers as well as the only hospital here in our town. We also carry copies when we travel and copies are left with trusted friends.

    You have to be proactive to protect yourself and your rights and quite frankly I'm shocked at the naivete of some of the people commenting here who aren't prepared or think having documents ready and grabbing them from a file should be last thing on their minds.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 2:30:50 PM

  17. @spraypaintedgold: If someone goes to a hospital once and has power of attorney (which it sounds like the patient did based on previous visits to the psychiatric unit), then the POA is on file permanently. You're not supposed to need to bring it every time. If you travel, then you should have it with you, and your attorney on retainer. But a nurse could look it up easily.

    The point of the story is that a legal spouse would not have been treated this way based on a family member request. Period. I'm not sure why you're struggling with this. And he didn't make himself a victim--his partner was sick. Complying because of some family member's wishes would demonstrate that you have very little love for your partner. More importantly, as POA he's legally obligated to be present if at all possible in case he needs to make a decision.

    I'm looking forward to the lawsuit on this one.

    Posted by: Thomas | Apr 11, 2013 2:48:34 PM

  18. re: POA. I believe he meant that the document was already on record because of previous visits. Sad day in the land of justice and equality for all.

    Posted by: dixichuk | Apr 11, 2013 3:25:27 PM

  19. It's been updated (via WDAF):

    On Thursday, after the story received national attention, Research Medical Center reiterated that their priority is patient care. The following is a statement from Research Medical Center’s Denise Charpentier, VP of Marketing and Public Relations:

    “Research Medical Center puts the care of our patients as our #1 priority regardless of sexual orientation. We support all the communities we serve. We have a long history of commitment to a culture of diversity. Research Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in Kansas City to offer domestic partner benefits, which have been in place since 2005, and we have had a policy specifically acknowledging domestic partners’ visitation rights in place for years.

    This was an issue of disruptive and belligerent behavior by the visitor that affected patient care. The hospital’s response followed the same policies that would apply to any individual engaged in this behavior in a patient care setting and was not in any way related to the patient’s or the visitor’s sexual orientation or marital status. This visitor created a barrier for us to care for the patient. Attempts were made to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to involve security and the Kansas City MO Police Department.”

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 3:30:50 PM

  20. He was belligerent with the hospital staff, so he was removed by the cops.

    We don't need to promote lies to win. Let's leave the fake persecution to the Christians.

    Just sayin'.

    Posted by: Fred | Apr 11, 2013 3:52:50 PM

  21. Fred, it would appear that he became belligerent after some sort of altercation with a family member that prompted the hospital to eject him.

    In other words, he goes to the hospital with his sick husband, emotions on edge and his husband's b**ch of a sister or witch of a mother (or whoever) argued with him and started the issue.

    It sounds like Roger didn't get along with his husband's family in the first place and it got out of hand due to the highly emotionally charged nature of this issue.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 3:59:47 PM

  22. I have had family members and spouses forcibly ejected from the hospital on a few occasions (two were gay, the rest straight). Usually this occurs when the family member becomes hostile with staff, other patients, or other visitors, and I determined that the level of drama was interfering with care of one or more patients (and thereby endangering them). I am often amazed how family members, gay and straight, will put their own need for drama over the needs of the patient. In these cases, marital status and power of attorney are overruled. In fact, the hospital is obliged to protect patients from spouses or POA or next of kin who appear intoxicated, irrational, or who may be a threat to any patient. It makes sense if you think about it.

    I don't know the situation here, but of course the hospital is forbidden by confidentiality laws to release any potentially identifying patient information without his consent. So, we may be hearing a very lopsided version of the story.

    Posted by: Yeek | Apr 11, 2013 4:54:53 PM

  23. How do two whackjobs sign effective durable powers of attorney?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 11, 2013 5:14:49 PM

  24. Interesting, the hospital says he was removed because he was belligerent but then goes on to say that the belligerent behavior consisted of his resisting being removed. Double-talk.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 5:19:03 PM

  25. The hospital is tripping over themselves now with contradictions. The two gentlemen should and must sue.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 11, 2013 5:33:23 PM

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