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Elderly Gay Couple Separated By Sonoma County Officials, Ignoring Couple's Express Wishes

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: human rights, Sonoma County, healthcare workers, prejudice, unjust, unlawful, gay, gay rights )

- 3375 days ago -
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.


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Roseann d (178)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 7:57 pm
I am livid! I hope Clay gets megabucks from all parties responsible, and yet it will never undo the damage, never undo what was done to this couple and what was taken from them. Outrageous!

Jenny Dooley (830)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:06 pm
Thank you for your comment, Roseann.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:08 pm
I encourage all to sign this petition:

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:09 pm

Bless your heart for posting this, Jenny!

Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:18 pm
Unbelievable. How dare the county act with such impunity. I am actually speechless.

Brooke Boroughs (24)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:21 pm
It is agonizing to hear how the government - medical care facilities - and legal system dehumanized and tortured these two men. What is especially shocking is that "the system" was operating within legal bounds. Harold, may you RIP. Clay, wherever you are, I hope the world is treating you much better now.

Jaclin S (230)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:39 pm
OMG what is wrong with these folk - how dispicable of them to part this old couple it is inhumane. Our journey through Life is so short - we are here then gone and LOVE makes all things bearable and that is what it is about LOVE and none of us can help whom we love it just is and that is all. Love & Light To All. Jenny Dear One TY for this post. Brightest Blessings.

Jaclin S (230)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 8:50 pm
Just Carole thank you for bringing this petition to our notice - I have signed and posted also on FB. Love & Light Surround You Always.

Jenny Dooley (830)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 9:26 pm
Thank you Carole, for your comment and link - I've signed and passed along, (and for the blessing!)

Jenny Dooley (830)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 9:30 pm
Thanks for your comments Jaclin, Brooke and Margaret.

. (0)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 9:40 pm
This is outrageous!

Thanks, Just Carol, signed.


Elena Grout (27)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 9:49 pm
This is so disgusting. It is indicative not only with the obvious problems facing gay citizens, but also the abuse of elderly all around the country. Just because someone is old does not mean the government, or anyone else, has any right to walk all over them and make sweeping decisions when they are clearly mentally competent. And even then, their legal documents and personal comfort should be looked after.

Jenny Dooley (830)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 9:57 pm
Thank you for your comments, Ralph and Elena.

Sandrea S (278)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:03 am
Just terrible!!

Pamylle G (458)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:18 am
I immediately signed the petition ! It's unkind & unfair.
Thanks for posting the petition & forwarding, Carole & thanks for the article, Jenny.

chris b (2474)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:23 am
Why one asks! How incredibly insensitive. There has been a case in the UK where an elderly married heterosexual couple were split up by the local authority and placed in different homes. Nobody anywhere should subjected to this kind of externally applied seperation. I understand in the UK case it was something to do with funding whereas this case seems to be blatant sexual orientation discrimination. Clearly a twenty year partnership of whatever type should not leave one partner detached as it were by intervention of the authorities! One wonders if the authorities would have acted thus if the partnership had been a business partnership or an unmarried heterosexual partnership or a married heterosexual partnership!

Hugh M (75)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:32 am
This is a glaring example of bullying by bureaucracy and of a series of public servants failing to observe due process but making decisions without consulting and observing the rights of citizens. Regardless of any gender issues these two men had made legal provisions that firmly established authority over the behaviour of the institutions that abused them. By disregarding the authority of those documents the people who stamped all over the two gentlemens' lives have also stamped all over the law and ought to be punished by the law for doing it. As I see it there are many levels of criminality here. At the very least there are breach of ethics, breach of procdedure, disregard of legal documents, and a strong suggestion of discrimination. And I'm not even a lawyer. This should be a lawyer's picnic. And poor old Harold, I wonder how he is emotionally and psychologically. I hope he is surrounded by caring people who can support him. I signed the petition. How could I do otherwise after reading this?

Randy L Benson (65)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:51 am
This should not be.

sue M (184)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:03 am
I think this is a sad example of "with liberty and justice for all". Just shows ya what we are in for if we let further constitutional rights disapear.
Gladly signed

Terry B (649)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:15 am

Anita B (69)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:22 am
This kind of situation happens throughout the world and it always the helpless and the weak, that are hit hard.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:27 am
I am so heartened to see the progress this petition is achieving:
Please KEEP IT UP!

Patricia McCaskill (139)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:34 am
This is terrible. Doubly so, as this is the county I live in and I've always taken pride in the open-minded attitude of the people who reside here. I imagine there will be a great hue and cry by the general population.
Well said Hugh M.
Petition signed.

Arielle S (313)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:47 am
Signed and noted - I am disgusted at such heartlessness.

joan f rodriguez (26)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:26 pm

Barbara K (62)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:36 pm
We need the hypocrites to stop playing God and leave people alone to choose whom they want to spend their lives with. It is no one else's business. If God didn't want any gay people, He wouldn't have made any people gay. His partner had every right to visit the hospital, if only as a friend. I hope someone sues that hospital.

Barbara K (62)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:38 pm
And yes, I signed the petition.Thanks, Carole for sending to me, and thanks to Jenny for the posting.

Yvonne White (229)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:40 pm
That kind of thing is exactly why gay marriages should be legal in ALL 50 states! I signed the petition & noted as well.. this is just heart-breaking..:(

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:59 pm
Noted and Signed. Thank you Carole. This is one of the most tragic stories I HAVE HEARD OF, although I'm sure there are thousands and thousands of others! It was tragic when Prop 8 lost in California, and I STILL HAVE MY BANNER IN MY FRONT YARD! I refuse to take it down until this is overturned! As usual, Hugh has it right with so many legal issues. Unfortunately, that is never going to help Harold at this stage.

Tammy Davis (2)
Monday April 19, 2010, 1:07 pm
signed and noted

Marta Away (55)
Monday April 19, 2010, 1:15 pm
Thanks Jenny for the new and Carole for the alert. I signed the petition.

Rhonda Maness (580)
Monday April 19, 2010, 1:20 pm
Thanks Jenny and thaks C for the petition@

Lee J (41)
Monday April 19, 2010, 2:47 pm
Outrageous and puts humans back in the darkest ages!!

Cynthia Davis (340)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:19 pm
Signed gladly, TY Jenny I will pass these on. This is despicable and we cannot allow this to happen again.

Luisa Fox (144)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:26 pm
Noted. Signed petition.

This is such a tragic story.

At a time when this couple of 20 years need each other the most near to the end of their lives together. How can the system be so cold hearted. Awful.

This sensitive story angers me and saddens me all at the same time. If there were I way I could personally bring this couple together I would. Really.

Suzanne L (3)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:31 pm

How tragic!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

. (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:32 pm
This world is in such a state that love should always be encouraged. I hope the little bit of energy that we expend to express our disbelief at this injustice will help set things right.

JennyLynn W (246)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:48 pm
Life is hard enough without these types of bureaucrats doing evil. Life for the elderly is more than hard enough. A lawsuit isn't enough - I'm hoping to see some real karma here. Sheesh. Stop this madness, permanently. Let's kill the funding for organizations, states, counties, hospitals, and any persons, groups or agencies who ignore stated wishes of people or the decisions made by their life partners. For goodness sake, how can this make sense to anyone?

Helen Snyder (13)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:50 pm
Noted and signed. Amen to every post on here !! I could not believe this came from Sonoma County !! I am old .. and my daughters have instructions to take legal action against anyone who interfers with my wriiten, etc wishes.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:55 pm

I am so pleased to see the intense emotions this article stirred in me echoed here!

These are people who've contributed all their lives, but were totally disrespected in their last moments together. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE TO TAKE THAT AWAY?


(Because, until people are -- and say so -- it will continue.)

Thanks to you all.

Marcy A (1)
Monday April 19, 2010, 3:57 pm

Greg K (11)
Monday April 19, 2010, 4:24 pm
This is just so wrong on so many levels. It is heartbreaking. I hope Clay will win his lawsuite and at least get some of his possessions back. Signed the petition and noted that love takes many forms. Jesus preaches love in any given situation. Let's let God decide which kind of love he finds offensive! People should be treated with respect and an attempt should be made to honor the wishes of loving couples of any persuasion.

Phil R (29)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:01 pm
This absolutely unconscionable! How could anyone be so cruel? I hate to typecast people, but had the situation been reversed, i don't believe any gay person would have dreamed of doing this.


Evelyn Z (300)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:05 pm
Noted & Signed

Phyllis P (232)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:17 pm
ANYONE on their deathbed deserves to have companionship and love close by. This is a disgrace.

Pat B (354)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:41 pm
This is so wrong on so many levels. What a sad story of these two men. I am saddened to read that people treat others so inhumanely such as what was done to these two men. A disgrace!! So sad. TY, Carole, for bringing this story of injustice to my email in your FW.. TY, Jenny.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:43 pm
I hope we can keep track of this situation - I would so love to hear that Clay has won his lawsuit. It is heartbreaking what has happened to him. Having known gays in the past - they are often very very caring people and do not deserve to be treated as lesser beings.

David Gould (155)
Monday April 19, 2010, 5:48 pm
What an abuse of Human Rights. Signed the petition...wish i could do more...but we cannot restore that which was ripped from this man by force and lack of sensitivity.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 6:30 pm
Tragic and sad.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 7:27 pm
How awful...To love someone and not be able to be with them. Something has to be done to stop this from happening...its wrong to keep two people who shared their lives together apart........reaching out to give big HUGS.

Jean Lord (46)
Monday April 19, 2010, 8:27 pm
This story is heartbreaking. I wish Clay the best of luck. Why can't they be left in peace.

Katie S (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 8:35 pm
Those poor people.

Anne K (139)
Monday April 19, 2010, 9:31 pm
This is Nazism. Where are the ethics and compassion we are "so proud of in the western world"? This is a shocking, heart-rending, tear-jerking article. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Jenny.

. (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 9:48 pm
No, Anne. This is tragic. It is unjust. It is unkind. It is unethical. But it is not Nazism. Nazism is putting people in cattle cars and standing them nude in front of ditches, then shooting them. We over use the word "Nazi" causing it to lose all of it's impact and lessening the significance of the horror of the Holocaust.

When we are too facile in our use of the word, people tune us out. The injustice of what they did to this couple is too terrible for us to allow people to tune us out.

pam w (139)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:05 pm
Sanctimonious, self-righteous Christians are behind the homophobia we see today. Sometimes, I wish there IS a hell...just so they can all TOAST there....forever!

Funny how the Republican party, SUPPOSEDLY the party of small government, wants to get involved in the private lives of Clay and Harold.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:06 pm
Hello People.
I would same to tell that It is agonizing to hear how the government - medical tending facilities - and legal grouping nonhuman and tortured these two men.Our journey finished Life is so short - we are here then gone and LOVE makes every things sufferable and that is what it is about LOVE and hour of us can support whom we love it just is and that is all.

memory card reader


. (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 10:13 pm
Pam, people who have near death experiences tell us when they come back that when we die, we actually do see our lives pass before our eyes and we feel the impact - good or bad - that we've had on other people's lives. If this is indeed true, nothing could be fairer. Imagine Hitler suffering all the pain he caused in others (not just those who died, but those who lost loved ones and those who suffered indignities decades later because of what he preached.)


Locan Sleeping-Squirrel (209)
Monday April 19, 2010, 11:54 pm
Horrifying. I have family that works in City Govt there and I will reserve comment until I can find out what the hell happened.

mr Crowley (23)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 12:50 am
and here i was thinking we lived in the 21st century...

Agnes H (144)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 1:09 am
Signed and noted and with sadness as my heart goes out to these people. It happened here as well with a heterosexual couple. They were partners and she had cancer I think but also 2 sons who said she wasn't getting the care she should not taking into account that her partner did all the cooking and housework taking her out and to the hospitals so they decided to take her with them to Tassie where she knew no one and her partner wasn't allowed to visit her. Her sons couldn't cope with all her needs and having to get up a few times during the night to change her bed which never happened here as her partner would wake up in time to take her to the bathroom. So her sons put her in a home knowing no one although she did make friends in the end. However she passed away within a year from being taken away so suddenly from her partner here. It's amazing how disgraceful some children treat their elders and in this case the County. Whatever the gender of partners, it would be the same as me moving in with my best friend if I didn't have anyone. Not that that would ever happen. I think the elderly were being treated as rubbish and nothing else!

Marty H (119)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 1:58 am
OMG! That is just so sad! They even had the paperwork all worked out! I hope the people responsible for this get sued and fired! That should NOT have happened! Thanks Cynthia and Jenny! Will sign petition in minute.

Edward M (8)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:03 am
There must be some serious re-assessment about the future employment of the individuals concerned in this debacle over this gay couple' rights.

Ray And Gail Brown (2)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 4:27 am
this is horrid! there are many types of family, and it's unfair to say one is right and one is wrong. same-sex couples should have the same rights as anyone else, including medical rights. a s/s couple could be together for 50 years, but if one should be hospitalized, the other cant visit bc they're "not family" and god forbid one should die, then their partner would have to fight relatives for any rights to what they aquired together during the relationship, as well as children, the house, even policies for help bury their passed loved one. its disgusting that civil rights are limited to sexual preference. i'm all angry.....:(

Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 5:04 am
Thanks to all for posting your comments, and to everyone who noted. It's imperitive this story gets known so that the right changes can be made. It's heartwarming to see the response.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 5:10 am

Just wanted to let you know that I wrote to the petition author and received the following response:

"Thank you for the message! And also for promoting the petition. We've got over 1000 signatures now and I will be sending it on to Paul Payne at the Press Democrat tomorrow. He's already expressed interest in the story so I think it's a go!"

Carol H (40)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 6:59 am
signed with the following comment: I hope the surviving gentleman sues the pants off everyone involved. Even those against "gay" issues should have recognized the close relationship of 20 years these two gents had. To uproot and throw away every shred of memory from their lives, TO IGNORE ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS?! Preposterous! Outrageous set of balls these people definitely took advantage of a couple of old folks, gay or not

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:06 am
It is very tragic indeed.. they do not realise the emotional damage that they have caused and the loneliness the other partner now suddenly has to face.. this is insensitive and heartless and something needs to be done about it.. people in these jobs should be taught compassion

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 8:55 am

The PETITION has now been CLOSED, with the following comment from the sponsor:

"This petition is now closed at 1,314 signatures, exceeding my goal of 1,000 in less than two days. I am blown away by the response. Thank you so much to everyone who signed and promoted it!

Rest assured that we've been heard. Paul Payne from the Press Democrat has already expressed interest in this story, so I will be sending the petition results to him shortly. I've also been told that the NCLR, which is helping with the case, has been "getting a good amount of media requests thanks to the incredible community involvement."

So, once again, thank you for taking action!"

Christine P (6)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 11:43 am
I'm sorry I got to the petition too late -- this is an outrage! However, I'm glad that the signature goal was reached.

I hope that this terrible case of inhumanity gets the major media coverage it deserves. Thank you so much, Jenny, for bringing it to our attention.

Lil Judd (70)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 12:03 pm
Horrible - I'm sad to see that I will have no chance to sign this petition as it's already closed.

Cynthia Davis (340)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 12:33 pm
I am sure many, many more would have signed.

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 1:31 pm
I regret I didn't see this post before, I would also have gladly signed. I live in Sonoma County and will be following this story. Our County, as the article states, is usually very progressive when it comes to LGBT issues. However, this story makes us aware that there are always those who will not act humanely. They come out like vultures at the first opportunity. I'm glad that President Obama signed a memorandum to protect hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples, but it's troubling that we so often need to be directed by law to do the right thing.

Greg K (11)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 1:41 pm
To Judy B, It seems that we are often like sheep who can be led by those who have a far less than honorable agenda. We are ruled by our emotions and incited by those who make this a moral war. In fact it is nothing more than greed once again; in this specific incident and in general. The human rights denied gay and lesbian couples means no rights to insurance benefits, let alone visitation or power of attorney, no rights to medical leave to help your partner. It is NOT a moral issue, it is a greed issue under the same guise as the "insurance" we pay for. Wars are fought for oil, water, other resources and many other reasons which are not honestly put forward so the general public can make an informed decision. We are herded along by fear and forced to give up our young people for some other small group to benefit. Read up on Standard Oil's history sometime. It's not like this started yesterday. Our only hope is to see behind the emotional hook we are dangling on and find out what is really going on. This story shows how the "investigators" seemed quite knowledgeable about the antiques and art the couple had collected. Then sold it for a fraction of its worth for what? To pay his medical expenses??? PULEEZE. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to respond.

IE Ries (237)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 1:42 pm
Noted, signed.

While Clay is denied entrance, I'm sure Harold's "family" is given free rein, and they might not be anyone he really wants to see at this point. That's often the case. The really *shitty* thing is that because my domestic partner is opposite sex, we'd not have this problem. The only reason there's interference is because Clay and Harold are the same sex.

Talk about control freaks and assumptions...maybe someone wouldn't necessarily want to see family members if ill, but maybe they'd prefer the company of friends or even a companion animal. But the assumption is that everyone *must* see their "family" and *only* them. What crap.

Dawn H (102)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:12 pm
What a disgrace! If it were a male/female couple or even two elderly brothers or sisters no one would have even thought of doing this to them! I feel his loss and pain. We need to make sure this NEVER can happen again! I too wish the petition would have stayed open longer, I think the more signatures the more impact, but who am I to judge. Thanks!

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:16 pm
Actually, Dawn, the same thing sometimes occurs with heterosexual couples who aren't married. Marriage offers protection in situations like this, which is why the fight for gay marriage rights is such an important one.

MmAway M (520)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:51 pm
Thanks Jools....

IE Ries (237)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:55 pm
Chana - I found that even in a relatively "conservative" place like Georgia, the hospital authorities never blinked an eye didn't interfer when I declared "domestic partner" and went in to see mine when he was admitted for chest pains.

After reading the article, it seems clear to me that the county was after money and that's why they completely marginalized Clay, because he was in their way and they *knew* it. In a state like California, where same-sex partnerships are run-of-the-mill, this seems to me that despite the fact that these two life partners safeguarded themselves by enacting all the normal, requisite documentation, the county chose to ignore this BECAUSE they were interested in liquidating Harold's assets by gaining probate control. It's not merely a denial of the relationship, it was a denial with an ulterior motive: control of an estate that could be liquidated for "public" use.

John Bessa (305)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 2:58 pm
government in the US no longer needs to exist -- shoot em!

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 3:08 pm
Rooibos, if there are other family members of one of the partners and no laws in place for gay marriage or domestic partnerships, blood relatives can keep the partner out of the hospital, out of the home, out of the picture. It doesn't sound as if Clay availed himself of legal representation at the time of his partner's fall. It may have been because of cognitive impairment, but it is just at times like this that people need to make sure that they have advocates.

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 3:10 pm
I disagree, John. We need government, but we need honest people in positions of power. The answer isn't to "shoot em" - violence only begets more violence. It's for honest people, caring people, to step up to the plate and ensure the rights of others.

Greg K (11)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 3:30 pm
Chana - It sounds so easy, but in order to gain public office, you have to be connected, rich and hopefully know the rules of the game which means lie, cheat and steal. I only hope there can be a peaceful and gradual resolution rather than a revolution which just replaces the crooks we have now with new crooks!

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 3:35 pm
I hear your frustration, Judy, but I think you're over simplifying it. Honest people can get elected - but it takes a lot of determination and energy. It may be easier, and less work, just to 'shoot em,' but is that really the society we want to have? It's not what I want.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 3:44 pm

Good catch, Chana.

Although there are days that I have the impulse to "lock and load," thankfully, my intellect stifles me. (LOL)

No, I don't want that world -- and although I can't speak for anyone but myself, I don't think many others do either.

As a former 60's militant, the two things that straightened out my thinking were: 1) I found out in 1971 that I was pregnant (which put a much more realistic/responsible perspective on my thinking); and 2) I had to admit that, no matter how many "radical militants" I knew, we could never accumulate the weapons and bodies that already were in the armories of the government we so naively thought we could oppose by force.

Growin' up does that. (smile)

Tom Edgar (56)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 4:00 pm
I knew California had financial troubles and Sonoma County too but stealing a few lousy bucks from elderly citizens? They really must be desperate or do the officials get kick backs and commissions from the sales.???

Roxanne Oh (1)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 4:47 pm
Whoever decided to split them up is a douche

Aaerelon Ablenas (4)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 6:12 pm
Devastating. I'm so lucky to have been born in Canada. Sometimes I wonder how two countries so similar can be so different.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 6:15 pm

True, Andrew . . . and people always seem to think Canada is backward to America -- NOT SO as far as health care goes!

Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 6:23 pm
Petition closed, comment from organiser Tracey Liu:
"This petition is now closed at 1,314 signatures, exceeding my goal of 1,000 in less than two days. I am blown away by the response. Thank you so much to everyone who signed and promoted it!
"Rest assured that we've been heard. Paul Payne from the Press Democrat has already expressed interest in this story, so I will be sending the petition results to him shortly. I've also been told that the NCLR, which is helping with the case, has been "getting a good amount of media requests thanks to the incredible community involvement.
"So, once again, thank you for taking action!"

Cheryl W (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:09 pm
How very sad....... Loneliness is an awful thing and they have just made this person lonely. How cruel. Way too many narrow minded people in this world - or is it just that we can't stand to see someone happy?

IE Ries (237)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:19 pm
Chana, I agree. But my point is that even if his children had quibbled, I still had rights that the hospital system in Georgia honoured merely because he stated "domestic partner" as well, verbally, even though there isn't a legal mechanism to register a partnership throughout the state (though there is in the city of Atlanta).

Now here in Florida (we moved just under a year ago), we have even more standing in this regard, as we found out. The fact that we legally own a house together and are both full-time residents in that home is significant, and the state of Florida, because of the Homestead Act, would not honour any attempts by an entity to "invalidate" one of us if the other was incapacitated...we took care of that through the deed, too, but so did Clay and Harold, apparently.

My whole point was that I am surprised that the California court even entertained the county's maneuver, because it's clear that the motivation had nothing to do civil rights, but liquid assets the county wanted. If St. Lucie County tried to do that in our situation, the State of Florida wouldn't even entertain the motion because of the deed language and protections provided under current state laws for ownership of real estate. Other assets the state would place in probate and decide from there in absence of a will. Again, Harold and Clay did that, so I see this as a clear grab for money via loophole. That this happened in California is astounding as I'm assuming the deed to the residence was probably similar, so the California court even agreeing to hear it, let alone grant limited county interference, is astounding to me. If that's not the case, I stand corrected.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:32 pm
Please see Jenny's recently posted follow-up:
Suit Charges Elderly Gay Partners Were Forced Apart - NYTimes

IE Ries (237)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:35 pm
OMG...I just read the brief for this case:

It's worse than I thought. So, they rented a residence, and all of their personal effects were considered "joint property" by the two partners, and the county's employees operated outside their authority by misinforming Clay about their scope of responsibility, authority and intentions. This is really, really bad, and confirms my suspicion that someone in the county merely saw a way of quickly seizing and liquidating assets, immediately leaving the other partner in financial limbo. Incredible to me that anyone would intentionally do this, but apparently that's what happened. Ugh.

I'm really glad that cannot happen to me, opposite-sex partner or no. The Homestead Act provisions to uphold the deed means the other partner doesn't get shafted if one person becomes incapacitated.

The issue of "who is considered family" is a little monster that needs to be thrashed because it's based on an outdated norm of who, according to social conventions influenced by religion, is considered one's "family." Even centuries ago, this very rigid concept of only legally married opposite-sex spouse and children wasn't accurate. Bleah.

. (0)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:42 pm
Rooibos, I think you've been very lucky. I've been working in health care for over 20 years and have seen on more than one occasion a life partner or significant other of long standing pushed to the side by a family that doesn't accept the relationship. Paperwork is everything.

Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 8:05 pm
Thanks to the Care2 community (at least in part) for the success in bringing this sad story to the press.
See the NY Times:

Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 8:12 pm
Sorry, Carole, I didn't notice your link. Thank you very much for keeping us up-to-date.

Lefterica Georgiana (14)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 9:30 pm
its a heartbreaking news.....everybody can make ther own choices

Roseann d (178)
Tuesday April 20, 2010, 10:28 pm
II am heartened to see so many people from all over the world demanding justiice.

All parties involved should be forced to track down every item, get them back and buy back their home for Clay....even if themy end up paying more. Serves them right the corrupt, greedy a-holes.

Brigitte T (69)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:17 am
The land of freedom? A police state with a nazi mentality in many areas, you mean. Where law-abiding citizens are often denied their rights and treated no better than inmates, as in this case.

Appalling and shocking.

Brigitte T (69)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:22 am
And unacceptable. And who's going to be held accountable?

Belinda Williams (0)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 5:12 am
the insensitive idiots responsible for this are the same ones who think they'll glide right into Heaven when the time comes. Uh excuse me.... evil is evil and won't exist in Heaven. AMEN to that. And God bless while still on this earth.

IE Ries (237)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 6:41 am

It all about MONEY, y'all...seriously, the county employees decided they were on a mission to score some cash for the coffers, or that's how it's beginning to look to me.

Er F (0)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 9:02 am
It's sad to read stories like this because it makes you realize how far we still have to go.

Margi L (129)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 3:36 pm
This is shameful! I wish the petition was still open I would have liked to sign it.

julie j (109)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 11:56 pm
This is so sad and cruel, anyone with a heart would let them be together.Thanks Jenny.x

kay h (156)
Friday April 23, 2010, 2:58 pm
A very sad story , my heart aches for these poor men.

Denise W (0)
Friday April 23, 2010, 3:50 pm

H.L. Chris C (15)
Friday April 23, 2010, 4:56 pm
Tragic? Yes. But shocking? No. Anyone who has been "in the life" since the 70s, 60s and before, knows that this kind of abusive behavior has been going on for an eternity. During the AIDS crisis it happened at least daily at the doctorsí offices, the hospitals, the familiesí, the funeral homes, the cemeteries. Do you think that the LGBT movement just cropped up to ensure equal pay and marriage or to be able to join the Army without being dishonorably discharged? No. It started because people were fed up with police beating them for no other reason. It began because LGBT people were sick of being treated as subhuman, 2nd class citizens. It started because for every Clay and Harold, and every Clair and Harriet, there are thousands more who have been treated the same way. I have to laugh when "Family" organizations say there is a Homosexual agenda. Yes, there is one. And it is to be treated in the same respect as every other human being.

Pat a (3)
Friday April 23, 2010, 5:22 pm

Cathy L (12)
Friday April 23, 2010, 7:49 pm
I am so glad that my son and his husband are Legally Married and would never have to deal with this.

Pat a (3)
Friday April 23, 2010, 10:00 pm
Cathy, did you read my post? This case is about domestic abuse...............the county is not the big bad wolf here.............

Greg K (11)
Saturday April 24, 2010, 8:36 am
Pat P, could you provide your sources please? I'm sure we all want to know the truth of the situation.

Kimberley Baerman (7)
Saturday April 24, 2010, 9:56 am
I of course am late but I'm still outraged at the audacity of the government, this makes me so scared for all who grow old. My prayer and wish is that all who were involved in this get the same treatment when they get old! I wish this with all my heart! I am so grateful for all who signed this petitition. May God bless your lives each and every day!

Yulan Lawson (156)
Saturday April 24, 2010, 2:42 pm
Very sad.

Doing GCSEs Not active no msgs (32)
Sunday April 25, 2010, 2:42 am
shocking and sad. noted

Greg K (11)
Sunday April 25, 2010, 12:47 pm
Pat, I really would like to see anything factual that backs up the district attorney of Sonoma County and could possibly make sense of this apparent miscarriage of justice.

Phyllis S (12)
Thursday May 27, 2010, 12:27 pm
We have not come as far as I had hoped on opening people's minds! Sometime I think we are going backwards!I don't understand HATE! I have had the oppurtunity to help raise my Grandchildren,hopefully keeping their minds open is one of the things I have tried to influence.Free Will is a good thing, if you know you have it!!So good!! Man's dogma has truly been a curse on all of the world.
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