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Kansas City Homeless Shelter Refuses To House Married Same-Sex Couples Together

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A Kansas City homeless shelter says it won't house same-sex couples together even if they're legally married in the state of Missouri.

The 90-year-old City Union Mission, in the heart of downtown Kansas City, provides shelter to up to 550 people every night, including families and children.

Dan Doty, City Union Mission's executive director, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter's board has had discussions about housing same-sex couples together over the years but has decided to "stay true to our biblical convictions."

Doty“I knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question,” Doty said, deeply concerned about what effect the nonprofit’s decision could have on its broad community support and donations. “I truly hope you understand the can of worms this could open.

“…We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards. Our view is that it (same-sex marriage) is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

The article explains that because City Union Mission is a religiously affiliated organization that receives no government funding, it is not bound by nondiscrimination laws. Doty said City Union Mission will house gays and lesbians individually, but requires transgender people to dress according to their birth sex when they're in the facility.

Same-sex couples who want to be housed together will be referred to other facilities. Representatives from local Salvation Army and Catholic Charities shelters told The Star they will house married same-sex couples together, while another shelter in Topeka said it's still undecided on the issue.

In related news, KSHB Channel 4 reported last week that City Union Mission is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and is banking on a generous holiday giving season to make up for the deficit. 

But after Sunday's story in The Star about City Union Mission's decision not to house same-sex couples together, the shelter probably shouldn't count on getting much help from the LGBT community or its supporters. 

"So, you discriminate against gays now," Chris Jozwiak wrote on the shelter's Facebook page. "Sounds fine. You'll be doing so without support of my friends and family moving forward. And I'll make sure and pass on the news as often and loudly as possible so others join me. Jesus didn't stop and question people about who they loved before he helped them. You're apparently not worthy."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3971676.html#storylink=cthat because

More Harrowing Footage from the World's Tallest Water Slide: VIDEO

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The other day we showed you the first footage from The Verrückt, the world's tallest water slide in Kansas City which is more than 17-stories tall. Garmin VIRB, an upstart competitor to the GoPro, is showing off its video capabilities in a new clip featuring a few rides on the precipitous ride.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Do you want to try it?

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Continue reading "More Harrowing Footage from the World's Tallest Water Slide: VIDEO" »


Check Out the Insane Water Slide Coming to Kansas City: VIDEO

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Schlitterbahn, a Kansas City, KS water park is going to welcome Verrückt, the world's tallest waterslide, this summer.

It's estimated to be 17 stories tall but will be officially measured later this year, and here's a virtual tour of the wet thriller. Not for the faint of heart.

Verrückt is German for "insane", of course.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Check Out the Insane Water Slide Coming to Kansas City: VIDEO" »


Country Singer Vince Gill Confronts the Westboro Baptist Church: VIDEO

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The Westboro Baptist Church came out to picket country singer Vince Gill at a concert in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday, and Gill came out to troll them back. Here's my transcript.

GillWBC member: "Vince Gill, what in the world are you doing out here?"

Gill: "I just came to see what hate looked like. I came out to see what hatred really looked like in the face."

WBC member: "Well, more importantly, what are you doing with another man's wife? Don't you know that divorce plus remarriage equals adultery?"

Gill: "Don't you know that you f**kers are lucky that you don't have a sign that says something about my wife?"

WBC member: "Jesus Christ said that."

Gill: "You know what else he said? He said a lot of stuff about forgiveness, about grace. And you guys don't have any of it. (Looks at another WBC member) I’ve seen you on TV, man. You’re a big dips**t. You know that don't you?”

WBC member: "I don't care what you think?"

Gill: "Are any of you guys Phelpses? Or are you guys like the C team?"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Country Singer Vince Gill Confronts the Westboro Baptist Church: VIDEO" »


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

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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.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

Continue reading "Brother and Gay Partner Involved in Kansas City Hospital Arrest Discuss Incident: VIDEO" »


Differing Accounts Emerge in Story of Gay Man Arrested at Patient's Bedside at Kansas City Hospital

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New information is emerging in the story of a man who was arrested at the hospital for refusing to leave his sick partner's bedside. A story reported by Kansas City's WDAF yesterday quickly went viral. They said Roger Gorley was put in handcuffs after the hospital refused to recognize him as the caretaker of his sick, longtime partner Allen.

The hospital released a statement yesterday saying that Gorley was acting belligerently and "created a barrier" for them to care for the patient:

We appreciate your concern and would like to assure you that 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.

We would also like to correct the misinformation about a restraining order. There was no issue of a restraining order by the hospital.

RmcToday, WDAF has a follow-up on their story, saying that Gorley had a confrontation with the patient's brother:

Roger Gorley said he just wanted to be there for Allen, his partner of almost five years. When he arrived at the medical center on Tuesday, Allen’s brother confronted him and told him to “back off.”

Gorley said he had the power of attorney and had every right to be there. However, HCA said Gorley did not present proof of “power of attorney” during that particular visit. “‘This is my brother — I will take care of him,’ and I said ‘No, this is my husband I have taken care of him for some time,’” Gorley said.

Gorley claims a nurse wouldn’t accept him as Allen’s husband and had him escorted out by security. He was later arrested by Kansas City, Mo., police. However, HCA said the decision to ask Gorley to leave was because Gorley and Allen’s brother were fighting inside the hospital room.

“When the nurse went in to ask them to please quiet down and please stop this and they continued, and every time they stepped out it would get escalated, so she stepped back in and asked them to remove themselves for the sake of the patient at the moment,” said Rob Dyer of HCA. At one point, Dyer said security footage shows a nurse backing out of the room and Gorley was swearing at her, pointing his finger close to her face.

John Aravosis at Americablog spoke with Gorley's daughter. She confirms there was a dispute between Gorley and the patient's brother but says the brother "was being more disruptive and belligerent than her father, yet the hospital had her father removed", the nurse knew what was going on, and knew the relationship between Gorley and his partner.

She also says that when the police arrived the struggle to remove Gorley drew blood and the officers freaked out:

The police considered that a violation of a direct order, so they began to forcibly remove him from the room. My father held onto the rail of the gurney as well as his husbands hand with everything he had. The police responded with brut and excessive force. The office began karate chopping his wrist to get him to release the gurney. Then they wrestled him to the ground forcefully enough to knock his glasses off of his face, his hearing aids out of his ears, and nearly break his wrist while they took him down. To handcuff him, they pushed a knee into his back and wrenched his wrists around.

It didn’t end there. The police changed his handcuffs 4 times! They assumed because he was a gay man that he was HIV+. When they drew blood from accosting him in such a brutal manner they freaked out. One of the arresting officers was so offended by my father’s presence that he would not touch him with his bare hands. He wore gloves the entire time and to make matters even more humiliating he didn’t want his handcuffs back. He grabbed them with gloves on, then another layer of gloves pinched between his index finger and thumb as he handed them off to another officer. The officer taking the handcuffs looked at him like he was crazy and just grabbed the handcuffs with no issue.

Meanwhile, the federal government is looking into it:

At President Obama's direction during his first term, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued regulations mandating that hospitals that receive Medicaid or Medicare funds allow patients the right to have visitors of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which enforces the regulations through coordination with the states, is looking into the situation. CMS spokesman Brian Cook told BuzzFeed Thursday afternoon, "CMS is aware of this specific issue and we are working to gather the facts and determine what steps to take in a speedy manner."

"All Americans are guaranteed the right to receive hospital visitors that they designate, and there are specific protections in our rules for same-sex couples across the country," Cook added. "We take alleged violations of federal rules around hospital visitation very seriously."

Zack Ford also has an excellent set of bullet points on what actually happened, noting:

With these details, both the hospital’s and police’s actions seem more suspect, not less. At the foundation of the story remains the fact that Roger and Allen’s relationship was treated as inferior. Because they did not have a state-recognized marriage, they were regarded as legal strangers despite even having set up the available legal protections for each other. Roger, in turn, was subjected not just to discrimination but police brutality and legal consequences. This tragic story speaks volumes about the consequences of continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and how they continue to be treated as second-class citizens. Notably, not one conservative organization has mentioned this story since it broke.


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