Monday, April 19, 2010

Sonoma County, Ca. Separates Elderly Gay Couple in their Final Days Together

Blogger Kate Kendall of The Bilerico Project posted an incredibly sad and heart-wrenching article this weekend that is burning its way across FaceBook and Twitter in the wake of President Obama's directive granting hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples.

The story tells of an elderly couple, Clay and Harold, who had been together for twenty years. The tragic story unfolded when Harold fell on the front steps of the rented home the couple had shared for many years. Harold was whisked off to the hospital, where Clay was denied visitation rights and his medical power of attorney was ignored.

Yes, Harold, 88 and Clay, 77 had done everything they were supposed to do to protect themselves legally, but a court ruled that they were only room mates and Harold was made a ward of the state. The entire contents of the couple's home were auctioned off to pay for Harold's care. Clay was removed from his home by the state and involuntarily confined to a nursing home. The couple were kept apart and denied visitation. Harold died just three months after his fall. Clay is currently filing a lawsuit against the county and has won his release from the nursing home.

This tragic story not only underscores the significance of the president's actions last week, but drives home the fact a marriage certificate clearly defines a couple's relationship and legal rights. The fight continues.

Read the full story at The Bilerico Project. 

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