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. Has anyone successfully sued a hospital or their staff for ignoring legal documents? Is there a cause of action?

    Posted by: mark | Apr 11, 2013 5:59:29 PM

  2. It's all explained on Buzzfeed


    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 11, 2013 7:25:28 PM

  3. Interview with the daughter: http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/missouri-man-arrested-at-hospital-for-refusing-to-leave-his

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 11, 2013 8:22:04 PM

  4. Sorry, wrong address: Daughter interview here: http://americablog.com/2013/04/interview-daughter-gay-man-handcuffed-husbands-hospital-bed.html

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 11, 2013 8:23:49 PM

  5. They had been to that same hospital MANY TIMES and had the MPOA on file there at the hospital. That's why they didn't bring it, IT WAS ON FILE AT THE HOSPITAL.

    He was asking the nurse to look it up in the hospital's OWN records!!!

    Posted by: nick | Apr 11, 2013 10:42:09 PM

  6. Until marriage equality is the law of the land, this will continue in mass.
    It happened to me when my partner had a cancer scare and stayed in the hospital, I'm not legal family. Luckily the night shift personnel understood and allowed me in.

    Posted by: GaryJ | Apr 12, 2013 3:32:55 AM

  7. Middle America will be the last to convert to progressive thinking which is why they were the first states gerrymandered to insure repug control. If this wasn't so sad it would truly be a tragedy. Where are you Homo Robbing Committee (HRC)?

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Apr 12, 2013 8:33:17 AM

  8. Turns out that the only reason the man was in the hospital in the first place was that the homophobic brother showed up with cops and paramedics at his brother's home while he was packing for a vacation and declared that he was suicidal and demanded that they forcibly take him to the hospital in the first place.

    The brother has not been involved in his ongoing care and treatment, and his treatments were, according to other family members, working well enough for him to be planning this vacation - and this hospitalization may well have set him back dramatically. Not to mention that they had to cancel the vacation and lose their deposits, because of the brother.

    So when the husband shows up at the hotel room, the brother starts shouting at him and demanding that he leave, and even though the hospital knows the couple and has the POA on record, the nurse calls the cops and has the HUSBAND assaulted and removed.

    This is SUCH a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I hope it hurts the hospital and ends the nurse's career.

    Arrested at Hospital: Just for wanting to hold his partner’s hand | We Are Atheism

    Posted by: Lymis | Apr 12, 2013 8:44:54 AM

  9. Andy,

    Why isn't there a Facebook icon enabling viewers to post this story on our Facebook accounts? I was planning to share it with my friends there, but, as I notice is happening increasingly with some of your postings, Facebook is not one of the options provided.



    Posted by: bammer47 | Apr 12, 2013 8:59:54 AM

  10. Thanks for posting that link, Lymus. For those who didn't follow it, it's an account of what happened at the hospital by Roger Gorley's daughter, who was there.

    Basically, that Allen was in the hospital at all was due to his brother telling the police he was a danger to himself, so he was taken into custody and put in the hospital. It seems he has significant issues with depression but was not in any danger, in fact the couple was supposed to leave for vacation later that day. At the hospital the brother started announcing that HE would be making Allen's medical decisions, despite the Powers Of Attorney the couple had for each other. It was at that point the argument started and the nurse backed the brother despite the POAs are on file, the brothers are not close, hadn't seen each other since Xmas, and homophobic slurs and accusations were used.

    It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 12, 2013 9:33:26 AM

  11. "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."

    Seems to me that it was more than being "asked to leave." I bet the "escalation" they referred to was an argument between this other family member and Mr. Gorley. If it did escalate to the point where it was disruptive to the hospital or other patients, they BOTH should have been asked to leave.

    ...otherwise the other family member should have been asked to leave, and Mr. Gorley allowed to remain with his partner.

    We should not have to carry papers around if heterosexuals don't have to - I agree 100%! The reality is, however, that although we are in a groundbreaking place in the gaining of civil rights, it does take time for change to happen, so until we are completely secure in our rights, we must protect ourselves.

    Have copies of EVERYTHING where we can put our hands on them right away - in the glove compartments of all your cars, in your backpacks or briefcases. Take photos of them with your smart phone! Put them on your tablet. Email them to the cloud. NEVER give anyone the opportunity to say YOU didn't show them proof.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 12, 2013 9:37:12 AM

  12. The hospital in this case could very well lose its ability to bill Medicare as a result of its grossly inappropriate actions. If Gorley was Allen's healthcare proxy, he had every right to be at the bedside, whether Allen's family agreed or not.

    I hope Gorley successfully sues the hospital, and the Feds revoke the institution's Medicare billing privileges, too. When those dollars stop coming in, I'm sure the hospital will see the light on how to treat gay patients and their spouses.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Apr 12, 2013 1:13:11 PM

  13. @spraypaintedgold: is your conjecture (to use a different example) that, when your partner is having a heart attack, you should first rummage through file cabinets to find legal documents?

    Has this hospital ever told someone to produce a marriage license to prove that two people are married and not just friends or acquaintances?

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 12, 2013 1:23:14 PM

  14. First, let's recognize that we don't know exactly what happened. From what is said in the video and the above report it seems that the patient's brother didn't want the partner there. It further seems that the hospital staff assumed the gay guy was causing a fuss. It really depends on whose voices were raised and what was the status of the other patients in the ward. There is the implication that this was a psychiatric ward, where calm and deliberation are really necessary.

    So: Did Mr. Gorely do something to justify being ejected? We don't know. Did the brother-in-law do something to cause a ruckus? We don't know. Did the hospital staff react appropriately to a family disagreement? We don't know. All we have, above, is an unhappy situation that happened to one gay man. So far, it looks like nothing more than a gay blog "waving the bloody shirt." (And for those who may think I'm engaging in some kind of remote gay-bashing, I'll simply say (1) I'm gay, (2) I simply want to point at all of the details that we don't know about this case.)

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Apr 13, 2013 10:17:44 PM

  15. While the account by Mr. Gorely's daughter can be discounted on some of its points, it does throw more light on the events in the patient's room.

    I can see some reason in the nurse asking Mr. Gorely to leave the room: if he was being reasonable (i.e., calmer and more in control than the brother-in-law) he is the one who may more easily be persuaded to help the hospital sustain calm -- especially if it is the psych. ward. I'll guess that family dynamics threw the nurse's strategy into a cocked hat.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Apr 13, 2013 10:40:14 PM

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