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Brother and Gay Partner Involved in Kansas City Hospital Arrest Discuss Incident: VIDEO


Kansas City's KSHB interviewed both parties in the hospital room dispute that went viral this week after Roger Gorley was removed in handcuffs from his sick partner's bedside.


Kc_mansellRoger says the dispute started after his partner Allen's brother Lee called 911 after not being able to reach him and had him taken to the hospital:

He said Lee shouldn't have called 911 without letting him know in the first place.

"Haul your husband into a hospital without even talking to me about it -- that's like overwriting us as a couple of who we are," Roger said. "That would be like me going over to his house and taking his wife and hauling her off to the hospital without talking to him."

Lee and Roger and up getting into an argument over Allen's medical care in the hospital room.

"I know the conversation got a little heated, and the nurse had come in the first time and said 'you two need to leave the room,' so we kind of quieted down for a minute," Lee recounted. "Roger wanted me to leave the room, and I told him 'well, no, you need to leave the room' and the nurses came in the second time and said 'you both need to leave the room.'"

A nurse called security officers when Roger refused to leave, the station says:

Cpt. Steve Young, a spokesperson for the Kansas City Police Department, said officers were called to Research Medical Center by the hospital security. When they arrived, Roger was already in handcuffs and bleeding. The KCPD officers wore gloves to transfer Roger into their cuffs as standard procedure.

Roger told 41 Action News he wasn't being disruptive -- and that security got violent.

"Hospital security came, and it started to hit me on my wrist" while he was holding onto Allen's bed, Roger said. "(They) hit me ... because I was holding on, and they kept hitting and kept hitting and kept hitting."

But Lee said this is all being blown out of proportion. He said he only wants what's best for his brother, and that it's not a gay rights issue.


More background...
Differing Accounts Emerge in Story of Gay Man Arrested at Patient's Bedside at KC Hospital
Gay Man Arrested at Hospital for Refusing to Leave Sick Partner's Bedside: VIDEO

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  1. I posted this yesterday. This came from the sister in law's facebook page: "The story is not entiry accurate. My husbamd Joe (Allen's 2nd brother) and I have always supported Allen and Roger as has Allen and Joe's father. It's only younger brother Lee and Pat who don't support Allen amd Roger."

    And a comment on her page: "Joe was mentioned in the linked article. Some OPs here noted that Lee waited until Joe left the area before trying to have Allen committed because they knew Joe would have objected." She agreed with this comment.

    I'd say that contradicts Lee's claim he was not homophobic and also that this was some kind of emergency.

    Posted by: mary | Apr 13, 2013 5:10:49 PM

  2. Only Roger had a legal right to be in the room? What planet are you on? Kansas City isn't exactly a hotbed of gay rights. He can call him his husband, but that's in name only in Kansas City. There are no legal rights there. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but it's true. The brother has far more rights in a situation like that.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2013 6:19:07 PM

  3. Roger has full medical POA, that supersedes the brothers rights. As well as the patient requested his husband to stay as well.
    Additionally the president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation which took effect in 2011, and it blankets federally.

    Posted by: Joe | Apr 13, 2013 6:25:39 PM

  4. Whatever account of the story that has so far been given, I would say the hospital should shut up, get their lawyers, and come up with a settlement.

    Just from a legal stand point, as a lawyer, I am amazed that situations like t his arise. Where the hell is the hospital's lawyers, and why are they letting them dig an even deeper financial hole by what clearly seems to be several violations of law.

    Posted by: nonapologies | Apr 13, 2013 6:50:47 PM

  5. @Paul R: You're simply wrong, as Joe points out. Federal guidelines--even in MO--make it quite clear that Roger, as POA (on file at the hospital) and a civil union partner and at the request of the patient, was the only person designated to be in the room and making medical decisions for his husband. From all the current evidence, the brother, whether his intentions were good or bad, homophobic or not, had no legal right to be involved in any way, and the hospital should not have been involving him in Allen's care. They have explaining to do.

    It's not drama queen behavior to expect a hospital to honor the wishes you and your husband have in legal writing and on file at the hospital, and it's not unreasonable for a husband to turn belligerent if the care guidelines you've carefully set up with your family are ignored. I can't imagine how anyone who's actually looked at the reports of what happened could consider this a non-story or simply a family squabble.

    More broadly, this case demonstrates the need for hospital staff (especially in non-equality states) to be educated on current law put in place by the Obama administration--until we have what is really needed, full federal marriage equality, so that when a gay couple enters a hospital (or anywhere else) and says that they are married, this is taken at the same face value that a marriage of a straight couple would be.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 13, 2013 7:17:43 PM

  6. MO doesn't recognize civil unions, so no I'm not wrong there. And PoA laws vary by state and often don't include health care, especially for gay couples.

    I'm not defending the hospital in even the most remote way. But those are the crappy lack of protections we live with.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2013 8:04:31 PM

  7. @Paul: I didn't say MO recognized CUs, but federal regulations implemented by the Obama administration give gay couples distinct rights around visitation and medical decisions. That and the POA paperwork on file with the hospital and the wishes of the patient (who had been there before) should have all made it clear that Roger had the right to be making medical decisions whereas Lee did not. You also implied earlier that this was a non-story about drama queens, which seemed very odd given the circumstances.

    Much better to be in an equality state (this would almost certainly not have happened in my state) and best to have full federal marriage equality so that marriage is understood as marriage by everyone, but the idea that CUed gay couples with POA papers on file simply have to put up with having their wishes disregarded (even in a state like MO) and subject to the whims of hospital staff is simply not true in 2013.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 13, 2013 8:42:32 PM

  8. More information in dribs and drabs...we can only speculate as we know only pieces.

    If Brother Lee plans on making a hobby of this, perhaps a restraining order would be helpful. I assume, of course, that Research Medical Center Security could read such a thing. Maybe it says somewhere on their Barney Fife badges to do what nurses command first and then deal with the paperwork later. Hospital police are muscle for the nurses, do I have that right? Let's hope the hospital loses big in the settlement--they've certainly dropped into CYA mode in their PR statements (as in, blame everything on the victims).

    Posted by: SC David | Apr 13, 2013 8:53:46 PM

  9. For the record, when I said drama queens I was including the brother.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2013 10:07:52 PM

  10. Also, if a state doesn't recognize civil unions, then it doesn't recognize them. I'm not sure how you overcome that by just wishing it weren't the case. Again, I'm not endorsing it or anything the hospital did, obviously. But if those are the crappy (lack of) laws, they can get away with most of it.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2013 10:22:22 PM

  11. You can always count on other gay people to act like situations like this are random and offer little or no support to the gay couple. This stuff has happened before. You should know from experience that the brother only wants money and is trying to position himself so that his ailing gay brother can change his will to include him.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Apr 13, 2013 11:57:56 PM

  12. Wouldn't any person denied access to his husband and medical decision making over him when you'd taken legal steps to make sure this didn't happen be a drama queen? I sure would.

    Once again, there are federal regulations now that deal with the rights of gay couples in hospital situations; they apply to MO and all other states regardless of whether CUs are legally recognized in the state. Plus the POA, which this hospital was familiar with with this couple, had on file, and had honored before. Plus the wishes of the patient. Plus the hospital offers partnership benefits so they can't legitimately make the argument that gay couples don't count as family. In other words, though it remains to be seen what legal repercussions they will face, they won't be able to sweep the rights of this gay couple under the rug, especially since the brother was definitely not designated as a family caregiver.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 14, 2013 12:02:09 AM

  13. Paul, it was PRECISELY because some hospitals decided that THEY would determine who was a patient's next-of-kin, and not the patients themselves, and that THEY could and would exclude people whom the patient wanted around that in 2010 the Obama administration put forth rules that if a hospital wants to take Medicare or Medicaid money, it must let the patient determine who could make medical decisions for him or her and, in fact, that even if written documents were not available, hospitals should use common sense and not theology in making the determination.

    Incidentally, there is very extensive discussion on Americablog.

    Posted by: EdA | Apr 14, 2013 12:13:39 AM

  14. Well, he was right to call 911 if he felt his brother was in danger. It seems to me that the bigotry of the brother just turned the situation into a raw nerve in the room and that they got agitated. I am not going to judge the partner here at all, because the kind of distress he was under must have been horrendous - I know first hand from watching my own partner die 5 years ago from ALS, and having to remove life support when he could no longer breathe on his own. The brother could have been a lot more sensitive to just WHO was the POA in this case, in spite of his stupid bigotry. Hospital security however clearly went way over a line and also ignored a legal POA document. .
    In defense of nurses telling them to get out of the room, if that's what happened. They were totally right to do so if the disturbance of them talking in heated tones was making THEM feel they could not do their primary job - caring for the patient. I, in fact, was told to just go home and sleep once when my partner was in ICU. The nurse was firm but not nasty, and she was right. I was getting too overwrought to be of any earthly good to anyone, and I actually made sure to thank her next day for keeping me in check on that one occasion I started to get really nutty. Nurses are saddled with impossible case loads, and the last damn thing they need is crazy people in a room preventing them from calmly doing their job.
    The hospital itself , and its security force, however, MUST be taken to task for the way it was handled that caused any injury. And the sick partner's family......ugh. Horrid.

    Posted by: Nelson | Apr 14, 2013 8:04:13 AM

  15. This is a pretty typical family/domestic dispute. It's only a gay issue in-so-far as gay couples can't legally marry in most states or get civil partnerships, which removes them from the list of close family members. But of course there are other legal options like power of attorney and so-forth.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 14, 2013 9:11:31 AM

  16. It's also not unusual in family disputes for unmarried heterosexual couples to be denied hospital visits to see their partner because they aren't considered close family. I'm not a legal professional, but I suppose if it doesn't already exist, there should be laws in all 50 states allowing such couples to legally designate their partners as close family members entitled to things like hospital visits and so-on.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 14, 2013 9:15:28 AM

  17. Jamie:

    "Can you image were Allen a woman that her husband would have been told the leave the room even if he had been arguing with his wife's brother? No way, no how. "

    I've actually had several legal spouses, POA, parents, siblings, etc. forcibly ejected from the hospital over the years - most of them were straight, though I have ejected a gay spouse before.

    In all of these cases, the ejected individuals were disruptive, fighting, screaming at each other or patients or staff members and would not respond to requests to de-escalate. Basically, their own drama was more important to them than the patient they were visiting or the other patients in the area.

    Whenever medical care to one or several patients is disrupted by an angry, potentially violent situation (most fistfights begin with arguing, after all), patient safety trumps all legal arrangements (including legal marriage and POA). It is medically unsound to divert more and more health care team members (social workers, doctors) into a room after initial interventions by the nursing staff have failed. The chances of success are low, the chance of violence to more people increases, and the chance of OTHER patients not getting care they need goes up.

    The nurse absolutely did the right thing by calling security. She cannot be providing health care and legal counsel and mediation for her patients and their families. She asked them to leave, and they didn't. And she's absolutely right that a legal spouse or POA can be ejected if they are a danger to patients (even if they do not INTEND to be).

    Did security overreact? Sure, they may have. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the POA was more threatening, more disruptive, and less cooperative than the brother when they arrived. This doesn't make him a bad person, but it doesn't make them homophobes either.


    Posted by: Yeek | Apr 14, 2013 10:47:29 AM

  18. That law already exists, @ratbastard, as has been pointed out repeatedly in relation to this story, and applies to all hospitals that take Medicare and Medicaid money. Gay couples have the right to designate one another to make medical decisions. In this case, it's clear the husband was legally designated to make medical decisions and the brother was not.

    It is very much a gay issue because when married straight couples enter a hospital in any state in the country they have reasonable certainty that their relationship will be taken at face value whereas unioned/married gay couples have that certainty only in a handful of states. That family disputes arise often in relation to healthcare is irrelevant to this basic inequality, which must be remedied.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 14, 2013 11:06:39 AM

  19. This is so sad.
    I hope they can all find some means of getting along - and stay healthy enough to not need that hospital, ever again.

    It is interesting that the christers keep saying that we can take care of all our 'friendship' needs through POA and other legal documents, yet when push comes to shove, it is exactly the christers who always disregard them.

    Posted by: enough already | Apr 14, 2013 11:13:57 AM

  20. @Ernie,

    Problem: gay marriages are only legally accepted in a small handful of states. The same applies to unmarried heterosexual couples. Some states don't even recognize common law marriages.

    You mention medicare and medicaid, both of course federally funded. I assume Mr. Gorley handed in the correct paperwork. I do understand what you're saying. At the end of the day, perhaps the hospital thought Mr. Gorley was in addition to the brother, being too disruptive, and kicked him out. This is not that an unusual thing to occur. Happens all the time, even with heterosexual couples.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 14, 2013 11:15:19 AM

  21. And herein lies the problem: unmarried heterosexual couples are unmarried by choice whereas gay couples--in non-equality states--have no choice but to be unmarried. CUed and married gay couples and ones who have legal protections in place around their healthcare should not be treated the same as unmarried heterosexual couples, particularly in light of current federal regulations implemented to protect gay couples like Roger and Allen. And in this case, the couple had taken extensive precautions to avoid this very thing happening--if they had taken none, it would be a different story.

    I understand Yeek's point about disruption and belligerence, which can easily happen in a heated medical situation, catching staff in the middle as they're attempting to do their job, and that is the defense the hospital is going with. The question is whether the escalation would have occurred had the husband been given appropriate deference? In other words, did the hospital, because it neglected the legal orders on file, exacerbate the situation? Several of the people involved have given their version of events, but it remains to be seen how it will get sorted out.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 14, 2013 11:50:24 AM

  22. Wow, you guys are all messed up. Do not comment on a personal story, this is clearly not a discriminatory issue.

    Getting into this story further means you are the problem. The way people here are demanding such action and repercussions for an unknown altercation between a stranger's family. Hate to break it to you guys but all parties in this situation are allowed to do anything they want.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 15, 2013 11:26:05 AM

  23. All discrimination comes with a personal story. So to ignore personal stories is to ignore discrimination. For any gay person with a rational mind, this story, whatever the exact circumstances, illuminates the larger issue of unequal protections for gay spouses in medical situations.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 15, 2013 11:47:04 AM

  24. So this started out as an argument of when or who called 9-1-1? The only thing that matters is that someone called.

    Both parties should have been removed from the room.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Apr 15, 2013 12:21:39 PM

  25. This is indeed a discrimination case and this is what makes me fight for gay rights with every fiber of my being!

    Posted by: Markey MARK | Apr 15, 2013 1:46:05 PM

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