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Signal Boost

This post is open and was copied with the permission of libby_drew

I felt sadness and fury when I read about these two gentlemen for the first time to-day. Those emotions have increased with each new post documenting this...what I can only call a "Hate Crime"

I said in a comment to another post that the people involved are predominately members of what should be CARING professions, one of which was my own for many years. I don't know when caring became hate but something is seriously wrong with society, for this to not only take place...but to do so with such unstoppable force.

Sonoma County CA separates elderly gay couple and sells their home

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place--wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold's care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay's significant role in Harold's life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold's "roommate." The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold's bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling.

Without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold's possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county's actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

The link at the beginning of this post includes more information on Clay's struggle as well as an email address for the local press, which has so far ignored this story.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 18th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
Too late for Harold and Clay but not for Clay's law suit
If you read to the bottom, Clay is out of the nursing home and has filed suit.
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
I have no idea of US law, it's all so random. But, the sad thing is, for a law to be effective, it has to be respected and enforced, especially by the powers that be :(
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
I don't think it was legal, if the documentation existed as was stated. How they got away with it, with no intervention, is really frightening.

I don't know very much about U.S law and it varies so much from state to state. I do know that here in Canada, it would have been stopped at the beginning but we also have marriage for all who wish it.

I think the silence about this injustice at the time, says a great deal.
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
This is horror!
And people wonder why gay couples need rights...they need the rights given to the most unloving, headed for divorce het couples in the same circumstances.

Edited at 2010-04-18 10:48 pm (UTC)
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
I hope the assholes behind this are treated this shitty when they get old. This is appalling.
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Equality as a given right, seems be a very hard fight. I have yet to understand why.
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
If that were to happen, then we would not have progressed as a society...I want there to be the changes necessary, that such a thing would be unthinkable.

Apr. 18th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
The evil done by this was beyond imagining. I can't understand why people would do this, what cruelty would prompt it
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
Your post was one of the first I read to-day. Thank you for that.

I have been around for a good number of years and I am still surprised at the cruelty we are capable of. It seems unfathomable to me that in this, so called enlightened age, we would treat another human being in this way.
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
This has me in tears! This was a hate crime perpetrated by the state! I wonder where in Ca. they were living. God I am glad to have left that place when I read stories like this. *sigh*
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
It was in Sonoma County. I have a friend in Scotland, who is fighting a divorce in the the CA. system and it is a nightmare.

I rarely cry but this morning reading the first post...

It is pure hate, elderly abuse and a myriad of other crimes.
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
This makes me so pissed.
Of all the stupidity that Canada is, I'm really glad that same sex marriage has been legal since 2005 (2001 in Ontario). Because here a husband, or wife, or husband (;p) inherits before family. And has all legal/medical say before family.
The way it should be.
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
It is great that we have marriage for all who want it.

However these two men had legal documentation which should have prevented this unspeakable cruelty, yet it still happened. This is why I say it was hate which is also a crime here, I don't know if there is a hate crime law in Ca.
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
This is horrid!
Apr. 19th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
Yes, it is, especially when you think of the number of people involved in making it happen.
Apr. 19th, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)
I have seen this story independently in three places tonight so it is getting the type of press it should to alert people to a great wrong. It is disturbing because these men took the steps that should have protected them. I don't think it was being gay that made them victims so much as being old and without an extended family. Two elderly sisters could have fared as badly in this situation I suspect. Those of us who work in professions that are supposed to help people in this type of situation have to go further than just protect our clients--we have to make sure that the rights of all are protected when we are in courtrooms.

This has been impressed upon me recently when I heard about the cases in Pennsylvania where crooked judges were profiting from sentencing minors to detention centers for small offenses--kids were being hauled out of court in handcuffed and taken away for the slightest of offenses to the shock of their parents--and the judge was getting a cut of what the owners of these centers were receiving for housing them. The children were not told of the right to counsel, they were not allowed to present a defense--hell, they were not even warned that they could be sentenced to jail time! And not a lawyer in the courtroom, not the prosecutors, nor the public defenders, nor any of the other lawyers sitting there waiting for their cases to be heard ever raised an objection, while gross injustices took place over the course of years. We're talking mothers passing out from shock as young daughters are hauled away for six months jail time in a juvenile detention center for the equivalent of talking back in school with no hearing, no defense, no reading of the charge against them.

All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to be silent. As in these courtrooms, there had to have been nurses and aids and doctors who knew that Clay did not belong in the nursing home, that he was being held against his will and was perfectly fine and fit enough to be discharged but they permitted the injustice to continue. And what possible reason could there be for denying any person in a nursing home a visitor? There is no rule against a roommate visiting! Since when can only spouses visit people in nursing homes? There is no sense to this at all. Other than a motivation to steal as homophobia doesn't quite explain it. Would the entire institution be homophobic? More likely there were people who were stealing from elderly people and the rest were apathetic.

And that is worse in a way.
Apr. 19th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
I am glad people are reading and hopefully taken some action.

I agree that a number of people had to either be involved, or simply not take action, to prevent this. I don't understand either of those positions.

I was a R.N. and even when the number of visitors might be restricted, I never encountered what happened to these two gentlemen, yet I know it has happened. Perhaps not as dramatically i.e. the nursing home, but it happens, and they are not all elderly.

It is true that we don't know all the circumstances but I do think homophobia was, if not the total reason for this, certainly the main component.

I read about the cases in Pennsylvania, I think there was a documentary on it as well. Those poor children and their families!
It must have been a nightmare for them, and may still be for some.

All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to be silent A rather appropriate quote in the circumstances.

Apr. 19th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
This is so sad and so wrong.
I just don't understand how it could be done, legally or more important ethically.
Apr. 19th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
From what I have read, it wasn't legal.

Ethically...I guess we are capable of convincing ourselves it is right, if we either hate enough, or simply don' care.

Apr. 19th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
Such a horrid crime against these two. Sadder still is, I'm sure it's happened before and will happen again.
Apr. 19th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
I can't ever imagine treating anyone in this way.

Unfortunately, it has happened before, perhaps if this were to get enough press, as it is still before the courts, it might not happen again.
Apr. 19th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Wow...in a totally bad and sad way. :(
This is just SO WRONG and I'll never understand the injustice and intolerance.
Apr. 20th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
It is a really horrible way to treat anyone.

I will never understand this type of behaviour.
Apr. 20th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
This is one of the saddest, most horrifying things I have ever seen !
What a dreadful thing for any human being to do to another !

How can the people responsible for this dreadful crime sleep at night ?!

Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention.

I only wish someone had been able to help make things better for them. I do hope that Clay gets his story heard world wide !

Apr. 20th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
It is one of the worst instances of this I have heard of.

I will never understand how one human being can treat another in this way.

The case is still before the courts so Yes, I do hope it gets press and makes a difference but nothing can ever right the wrong done to these two gentlemen.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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