When I read last week that Obama had signed an order requiring hospitals to allow for visitation rights for homosexual partners, I thought BFD. Well of course hospitals will allow love ones to support a patient in need. But then I remembered the wacky world we live in these days, and that there are people, some with power, that would be ready to deny someone their human right of being with “family” if that “family” didn’t fit into their narrow little hole.
Unfortunately, this ruling, which is now enforceable through Medicaid and Medicare programs, didn’t come soon enough for Clay and Harold. 77 and 88 years old respectively, they had been together for 20 years. Harold fell and was hospitalized. Clay was denied access to even visit Harold although they had wills, power of attorneys and other paperwork that couldn’t have made it more clear that Clay and Harold were partners in life. Through an inexplicable series of actions by the County of Sonoma, both Clay and Harold ended up in nursing homes (different ones) and all their personal belongings were auctioned off by the State. Harold died 3 months after his accident, alone in a nursing home. Fortunately, with the help of lawyers, Clay is no longer in a nursing home and is suing the County, the auctioning company and the nursing home. There is a trial date set for July.
I found this story on Crooks and Liars which links it to the NCLR which is helping in representing Clay Greene. This should be a much bigger story with more coverage. It is suggested that people contact the local newspaper Santa Rosa Press Democrat at firstname.lastname@example.org and encourage them to write this story. Also use Twitter and Facebook to let people know about this nightmare come true.
I cant help but think that for this to happen to these men, they must have been so isolated. They were old, so maybe they didn’t have many friends left that could help. But family, wasn’t there some family to save them from this fate? Couldnt and shouldnt their civil union have protected them? We need Gay Marriage now.
How tragic, cruel and unnecessary.