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

Gorley

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.


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

Gorley

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.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Server Who Died in Restaurant Explosion in Kansas City Last Week was Lesbian Activist, Counselor

46-year-old Megan Cramer died in the natural gas explosion that destroyed JJ's restaurant last week in Kansas City.

CramerShe was a server there. The Kansas City Star writes about her life:

She loved all things writing, from the New Yorker magazine — to which her family gave her a subscription every Christmas — to anything written by Maya Angelou.

She was also quite the activist and once helped found the first chapter of the lesbian and gay student group at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, her alma mater.

And she would counsel young people as they were coming out.

“She was one of those people who had great wit but would never say, ‘Let me tell you a joke,’ ” said sister Stephanie Cramer, a Springfield artist who is six years older than Megan. “She could look at you, give you that smile and you knew that she had lots of layers and this person was very deep and very loving.… This has been very hard.”

Fifteen other people were injured iby the explosion. Surveillance video showed how powerful the blast was.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Man Sues Kansas School District For Failing To Stop Homophobic Bullying: VIDEO

KansasLawsuit

A Kansas man filed a lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District that alleges school officials turned a blind eye to bullying he endured because of his perceived sexual orientation.

In addition to having his nose broken on a number of occasions and being called homophobic slurs, the unidentified man, who graduated in 2010, was allegedly doused in urine by abusive classmates and had his hand forced on a burner during cooking class. And administrators, he claims, did nothing.

KCTV has more:

"His reports were met with indifference, inaction, or where some action was taken, the action was wholly inadequate and ineffective," according to the lawsuit.

"A few sympathetic teachers" passed on the reports to administrators, but either nothing was done or administrators "made inadequate and feeble attempts to discipline students, only to knowingly permit the physical and emotional assaults and harassment to continue," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff suffered emotional and physical trauma, and as a result his grades suffered. He attended classes at another facility to escape the abuse, the lawsuit claims. He still experiences physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder issues, and is receiving counseling.

"The harassment was so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively deprived (the plaintiff) of access to educational benefits or opportunities provided by the school district," according to the lawsuit.

Watch video of the report AFTER THE JUMP.

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Today: Chely Wright Opens Kansas City LGBT Community Center

Chely-WrightWell -- technically it's a center for youth who are questioning their sexuality, but these kids will probably figure themselves out quickly enough. Maybe they'll stick around.

Chely Wright is the nu-country singer of hits "Shut Up And Drive" and "Single White Female" who came out of the closet in 2010 and shortly thereafter married her partner, the activist Lauren Blitzer. She decided to open the LIKEME Lighthouse, as it's called, because she grew up not far from Kansas City and remembers well the difficulties of coming of age in an area without resources for LGBT teens. From the Washington Post:

“This just gives so much hope to these outlying areas, that your major metropolitan area has a gay and lesbian center,” said Wright, who married LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer last summer. “That would have meant everything to me had I been a kid growing up in Wellsville, knowing that there is a beautiful facility in our major city, that that was OK.

LIKEME Lighthouse's ribbon-cutting ceremony is today at noon, and opening festivities continue into the evening with performances by Wright, Alan Cumming, and others. Lighthouse's website is up and fully operational, but it doesn't seem like the center's yet fleshed out its programming. The facility will be open, presumably for drop-ins, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on most days, but what teens will be able to do once they arrive hasn't yet been decided. Maybe Lighthouse is waiting on volunteers?


Watch: Kansas City 'House of Prayer' Exploits 'Ex-Gay' Teen

Jacob

"Do you hear that? He was set free from addictions to homosexuality, heroine, crack cocaine. Anything else?"

Unfortunately, Jacob was not delivered from ugly exploitation on YouTube and elsewhere by the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(source)

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