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Elderly Gay Couple Victimized by the State

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by Brian Leubitz

End of life situations can often be even more tragic for LGBT couples. We are far less likely to have children to care for our elderly, and the current generation of LGBT senior citizens is still dealing with a lot of entrenched homophobia from their peers. However, a recent case shows just how difficult this situation can be. Kate Kendall of NCLR wrote about the story of one Sonoma County couple that was tragically separated at the end of their lives:

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.

Take a moment to read the whole article, or find more information at NCLR’s Elder Law Project. Basically, Harold broke his hip, and the County determined that both of them needed to go to nursing homes. They packed them off to different nursing homes that didn’t respect their relationship. Furthermore, they were not granted access and the respect that they deserved, both under common decency as well as under the legal documents that they had signed.

Would such a scenario have occurred with a straight couple? It seems doubtful, and this is the crux of the problem that we face. Not only is our situation simply out of the norm for social workers, but lack of resources means that training is falling behind. There is no way to make up for such a tragedy, but Sonoma County should at the very least start with an apology to Clay and work towards helping him recover as much of his stuff as possible.

Thing is, Sonoma County was well outside of the lines of the law in this case, so legislation can only partly address the situation. The most obvious solution would be marriage equality, and the respect of same-sex marriages. But, we need to ensure that those on the front lines are adequately aware of the laws already on the books and how to treat LGBT couples. This is a shameful story that should never be repeated.

61 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Bob  |  April 19, 2010 at 5:41 am

    When I was writing my last will and testament, I was fortunate to have an activist lesbian lawyer, who was very thorough, for example, if the need for assisted llving arose, I would only agree to a facility that had been trained in LGBT issues, I remember looking at her, and saying, does such a place exist, to which she replied the odd one, but the more times I get to write these type of directives, the more opportunity that at some time we will be able to force the situation.
    I would never have thought of that on my own, but somehow I felt like I was participating or doing my part ,

    Being married, does alleviate a lot of issues , and living in the gay village in Vancouver also brings some comfort, because there is much more understanding, by necessity withing that community, the activists would be right there for you.

    But for those of us who don't have that safety net, we can be faced with tragic situations, like reported here.

    Equality in marriage, levels the playing field in such a simple way in terms of assets, wills, taxes. By changing the marriage issue, it influences them all, rather than, doing a piecemeal approach, one at a time from the other angle.

    Meantime, Clay and Harold's story is a tragedy that hopefuly we can learn from, and see where more change is needed, especially for those of us in our senior years.

  • 2. Carvel  |  April 19, 2010 at 5:41 am

    This is sad but if they had all the documents in place then the county should have respected them and so should the courts. They should sue and then get lots of money for this injustice. The only thing that government and the religious right does understand is lots of money. I do not understand why when Harold fell and went into a nursing home, they also put Clay into a nursing home.

    It appears this was done to get rid of him. By getting him out of the way, the county could carry out their plan to take everything and close out the case on the books.

    I question if Clay told them that he had medical powers of attorney and other rights. If he left all of his stuff to Clay, then tere are some things that are exempt from seizure under most different state laws. this will be important in the state court case. I presume that they will sue under a violation of their civil rights which might get them into federal court.

  • 3. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

    A facebook page has been set up. On the page there is a contact list for various media outlets, politicians and county and state agencies. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Clay-Gr

  • 4. Richard A. Walter (s  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Yes, this is a shameful story that never should have taken place, and it is not only doubtful that this would have happened to a straight married couple, it isw more assuredly definite that it would not have happened to a straight married elderly couple. In fact, not only do we need marriage equality to prevent this from happening to other same gender couples, we also need regulations in place with Medicaid and Medicare to pay for in-home care which is cheaper than nursing homes. It is such a shame that Medicaid and Medicare will pay $5,000 or more a month for a nursin home, but refuse to pay $1,000 to $1,500 for in-home care. That is a disgrace!

  • 5. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I'm getting a little tired of this whole LGBTQQIA Americans have to respect everybody else but the Hateros don't have to respect us…I didn't know respect only works one way?….silly me…all this time i thought respect needed to be earned….If only the founding fathers had laid out in detail what people "WE the people" applied too…..All well hindsight, like foresight but without a future…..<3…Ronnie

  • 6. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Totally off topic. I was invited to participate in the flash mob at the GLAAD Media awards last weekend. Sadly, so so sadly, I was too ill to participate. I wasn't allowed to say anything until after the event (all very hush hush), but they've now posted a video on You tube, so it's okay to "come out." I was assigned to the group that came in on the "La Vida Loca" section.

    Here's the video. It's terrible quality and most of the first several minutes has nothing to do with the fm. The flash mob starts around 5:10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLRC5qUDIac

  • 7. John  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Sadly, I'm sure people I've talked to in the past about issues realted to death and surviving partners would say it might happen to a straight couple, so no sympathy, or they'd say Clay and Harold knew what they were getting into when they chose to be gay, or they'd say Clay and Harold just didn't plan well enough.

  • 8. Rich Rainbolt  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Here are the e-mails of the county board of supervisors members, and the Sonoma Wine Association.

    I urge you to write them and let them know that swift action including:

    Speak out against the county government's actions so that everyone knows that they personally do not condone this type of act from their local government.
    Move swiftly and fairly in trying to undo some of the damage that the county has done.
    Insist that all members of the county's government receive sensitivity training so that they can more easily understand what to do, and not to do in such situations.
    Speak to their opinion to their friends and associates so that more people can understand what has happened in Sonoma.

    I would include some comment about how you are not comfortable vacationing in a county that commits such horrible acts and how you are not sure you can buy wine grown in an area with such disregard for the love between two people.

    sara@sonomawine.com, film@sonoma-county.org, pkelley@sonoma-county.org, palberig@sonoma-county.org, bradovan@sonoma-county.org, mkerns@sonoma-county.org, jsaudan@sonoma-county.org, ecarrillo@sonoma-county.org, supchurc@sonoma-county.org, vbrown@sonoma-county.org, jhainsto@sonoma-county.org, szane@sonoma-county.org, jdiaz1@sonoma-county.org

  • 9. Mark  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I hope this is a wake-up call that we all need to have a will, advance directive, and a trust. I am not saying that the outcome of this instance would have been prevented, but not having the proper paper work in place certainly didn’t help the situation.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

    According to the story, this couple "had their legal paperwork in place–wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other."

  • 11. Straight Grandmother  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Kathleen, It wasn't that bad of a video considering it wasn't a film production or anything. I am most interested in the end of the video where the young man and the little girl in the green dress were dansing to a song and I heard somethng like "…to the top.. until we have equal rights" Do you know that song? It looks pretty good. I would like to see a video of that song. Is it like the gay song I never heard of before, in other words everybody knows about tis song except me LOL.

  • 12. John  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Same as the last two stories like this that got national attention.

    >:-(

  • 13. Straight Grandmother  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

    That is the most scary part Kathleen they had the correct docs but nobody respected them. I think the real issue here is that they were old, and got pushed around. To bad they did not have children to advocate for them. It's really a crying shame. In the back of my mind I gotta wonder about the other side of the story.

  • 14. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I say we demand that all that were involved be FIRED!!!!!……<3…Ronnie

  • 15. John  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Or set them on fire . . .

    JUST KIDDING

  • 16. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

    The last song is "Tik Tok" by Kesha. I think the flash mob people changed the lyrics.

  • 17. Richard A. Walter (s  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Unfortunately, all the planning in the world won't be enough until we are granted our full civil and human rigts and it is codified in the Federal law as well as the state law. BZ and I have spoken to lawers here in NC, and they have all told us the same thing–no matter how well we plan, no matter what legal documents wew file, no matter how many advance directives we have in place, no mater how many copies we have and where they are located, all it takes is one person saying tht either one of us was not in his right mind at the time we had the paperwork drawn up, and our wishes will be null and void.

  • 18. Larry Kenneth Little  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

    This so sad. I can't say much against Christ but Christians are the most hateful religion on the planet. The are trying to block a possible gay being appointed to the Supreme Court. They are asking the Supreme Court (Christian Legal Society?) if they will allow their Chrisitan group intentional discriminate against gays and it has a divided Supreme Court. Divided? This should be a 9.0 and printed in indelible ink. My greatest worry, (I'm not gay) is fanatical religious dogma will be come the law of the land and it will become permissable to take gay people to Wyoming and nail them to a fence in freezing weather, just the way Reverend Phelps wants it. This is the Robert, Scalia, Thomas, Alito rightwing court who will allow the church to discriminate against gay people who will do it in ways that will parallel the treatment of slaves. Any court that is always 5/4 where the majority destroys 100 years of established law can't be trusted to do justice. Christ was OK….In my house, Christians are about as welcome as Nazis.

  • 19. John  |  April 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

    And being a homosexual is clear evidence of not being in one's right mind to wayyyyyy too many people, especially hateful family members.

  • 20. Richard A. Walter (s  |  April 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Unfortunately, this is so true.Cases in point from right here on P8TT: "Team Kay Moore," "Team George," and Team Meliisa," our three trolls who enjoy cyberharassment. You may have to backtrack to the early days of the Trial Tracker, but all three of those groups are singing from the same misinterpreted hymnal.

  • 21. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Now John…….we wouldn't want to release more greenhouse emissions….we need to reduce our carbon footprints…setting them on fire would destroy the planet…..now burying them six feet under in all their dirt (I mean lies) would contribute to the Earth and the circle of life…..lol……<3….Ronnie

  • 22. Bob  |  April 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Fanactical religious dogma, IS the law of the land, as it stands now, the religious right owns Obamas balls, and anyone else .

    I oftne wonder how this can be, and think, most of what those of us from other countries see about U.S. is hype from the vast and fabulous movie industry, We see the land of the free, riches, and the benefits of democracy this is the world view of what it's like to live in U.S.

    But underneath this allusion created by movies, we see the real live versions played out by stories on web sites like this. The poor, and minorities like LGBT communities have no worth, and their lives are easily trampled to extinction, just like the story told today of Claly and Harold, that is the truth of how it is , when religion rules.

    Fanatic religious dogma IS the law of the land, right now, and this needs to change the Church must loose it's political clout. It takes a strong leader to set the standard, come on Mr Obama, tell the Church, where it' influence stops…….

  • 23. Richard A. Walter (s  |  April 19, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Especially if you fill the hole with lime first, then wet it down, the put more lime on top of them after you put them in the hole and water again, then cover with dirt. Not that I would do anything like that, but the thought is nice.

  • 24. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Yeah that is a nice thought…..And maybe plant a weeping willow…I love them….very beautiful and romantic when healthy…..<3…Ronnie

  • 25. Juli  |  April 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    those directly involved have already been fired, but there is still much to do to restore to Clay what has been taken from him and to amend for his lost time with Harold. There is nothing that can make up for that, but hopefully steps can be taken so this NEVER happens again.

  • 26. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Juli, thanks for the additional info. Is there a public report of the firing anywhere?

  • 27. Sagesse  |  April 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    There's no question LGBT seniors need protection. But, as others have pointed out, many older people have diminished mental capacity to some degree. It's too easy for motivated family members or, in this case, social service staff, to make a case to invalidate the legal arrangements that have been put in place.

  • 28. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I was just selecting and deselecting song on my iTunes to make space on my iPhone and I found this song buried and remembered how this made me felt when I was a tween…..and now it has so much more meaning….I know for a fact that I want this….Heterosexuals couples experience what is depicted in this song but so do those of the LGBTQQI community….it is the Haterosexuals who believe that we do not all take this same journey….But why do hateros wish to control how we take this journey and how like everybody elses…it ends?….It boggles the mind that they don't see the human aspect…..JMHGO…..this just might be my wedding song someday…..well with out further delay…I give "At the Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis……enjoy….<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46kp111dIbU

  • 29. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/1

    Posted on Advocate.com April 19, 2010
    Activists Interrupt Obama's Speech
    By Kerry Eleveld

    A group of LGBT protesters disrupted and temporarily halted a speech President Barack Obama was delivering Monday night at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer. Several minutes after Obama took the stage, several activists from the group GetEQUAL began shouting and expressing anger about the slow pace of progress on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    "What about ‘don't ask, don't tell?’" yelled one protester, as the crowd tried to hush them.

    “We are going to do that,” Obama responded and kept talking, upping his volume, but the protesters persevered. The crowd finally erupted into chants of “Yes, we can," in order to silence the activists.

    Obama reiterated, “We are going to repeal ‘don't ask, don't tell.’”

    Another protester yelled, "It's time for equality for all Americans!"

    Obama responded, "Can I just say again, Barbara and I are supportive of repealing ‘don't ask, don’t tell.’" But the protester continued, grinding Obama's remarks to a halt and again prompting the crowd to shout, “Yes, we can!" over the protesters.

    The action continued for a little over 10 minutes before the activists were escorted out of the reception by security officers and Obama regained control of the speech.

    The protesters included David John Fleck, Dan Fotou, Laura Kanter, Zoe Nicholson, and Michelle Wright, according to press release from GetEQUAL.

    (me) HERO's…..they said there will me more…they did not lie…and they came through……

    GetEQUAL also organized the protest last month when Lt. Dan Choi was arrested after handcuffing himself to the White House gates.

    (me) When I tell the hateros that this has grown to the next level……IT'S NOT A JOKE!!!!…..NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!!…..it really is that simple…..remember they set our flag on fire, they bash and murder us, ect ect ect ect….we didn't do those things to them….however…..

    A storm is coming….it's called Equality…and WHEN there is equality for ALL Americans….the storm will be over…and a Rainbow will fill the sky….<3…Ronnie

  • 30. Wade MacMorrighan  |  April 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    FYI, in a recent NOM e-blast (the so-called "National Organization for Marriage" whose Pres. ad Execs. pocket millions each year from donations), Brian Brown praised a recent court decision in Argentina that legally divorced a previously (legally) married Gay couple against their Will; he even defamed the couple, further adding insult to injury, by calling it a "press stunt marriage", mitigating their relationship to such a degree that others might think that we cannot feel love for our spouses to the same level as those in heterosexual relationships! Brian has, of course, made similar statements attempting to differentiate us in the eyes of heterosexual society by claiming that we cannot or are unable to feel the depth of love for our spouses that heterosexuals do for theirs. This trick is Old hat and was used against minorities such as African slaves in an effort to make it seem more natural to subjugate them. One wonders why NOM hasn't, yet, made the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of official anti-Gay hate groups?!

    Our own Iowa-based hate group (LUV Iowa; "LUV"="Let Us Vote") would love nothing more than to retroactively invalidate all marriages between two men or two women, often expressing their view that we should not be able to legally form a kinship because our relationships do not mirror their heterosexual family stereotype (oops, I mean "structures)! All you have to do is read the signs they wave around to see this empiric attitude!

    But, I digress…NOM's Maggie Gallagher has frequently declared that we should legally make THESE provisions work (as Harold and Clay had attempted to do), instead of legally attempting to 're-define marriage" in her callus tone! Here, again, she is implying to the public that we don't REALLY need "marriage"! She even has gone to lengths to frequently imply that Marriage Equality is antithetical to her vision of a "Marriage Culture" because we disrupt her view that a family is a "mommy and a daddy", and that society says that they don't want us to marry, so we should (apparently?) just shut up and accept it?

  • 31. Wade MacMorrighan  |  April 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, and don't forget, while the gov't SHOULD respect and acknowledge our relationships and marriages as equally valid, ol' 'mo foe Mags does not! She attempts to fallaciously repudiate the idea that she should either have to pretend or be forced that a Gay marriage is a "real marriage", or that it's valid and equal in standing to a heterosexual union. Remember, this is the woman who famously coined the line, "It's not discrimination when you treat different THINGS differently!" She once hollered this out into a Dr. Phil audience!

  • 32. Bob  |  April 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Right On, Hero's for sure, GetEqual, this is what you call putting pressure on the President. hopefully it will increase

  • 33. Sheryl  |  April 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Different things differently. Well, I think that is a good quote. However, what is forgotten is that she is talking about people, not about apples and oranges, pretty hard to peel and apple and section it, like one can an orange. But people are people and all people should be treated with respect and dignity and have the same rights, be they hetero, homo, physically disabled, developmentally delayed or a combination of any of the above, male, female, white, black, tan. Makes no difference people are people. Equality for all!!

  • 34. Lora  |  April 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Kinda like when my mother makes statements about "those people"….without remembering, I guess, that her daughter is one of "those people".

    I married my partner of 11 years in August of 2008, (in Ca. pre prop. 8), and have yet to tell my parents…I just don't want to get into it with them.

    On another note…my spouse and I have a living trust, wills and end of life directives…all legal and witnessed by some of our wonderful friends.

    (We used Legalzoom.com It's pretty easy and very reasonable. I would recommend it.)

  • 35. Roger  |  April 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    The complaint currently before the court can be found here:
    http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/Greene_v_

    It's a long document — 70-something pages — but read it to the end.

    Sure, it's the plaintiff's side of the story, and no doubt Sonoma county will try to do a Vatican on this; but even if only half Mr Greene's allegations prove to be true, what happened is even more horrifying than Kate Kendall's article suggests.

    You don't have to read closely between the lines to realise that anti-gay bigotry was only a minor part of this business.

    Corrupt public officials, in league with a corrupt nursing home and a sleazy auction house, planned to get the two elderly people out of the way so they could help themselves to their possessions for their own use.

    That was their chief motive –simple greed — and as these people clearly knew exactly how to go about it, one can't avoid the conclusion that they are in the habit of doing this sort of thing to defenceless old people, whether gay or straight.

    Let us hope Mr Greene wins his case — and that the case leads to investigations that bring this scam to an end.

  • 36. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I had meant to do it earlier, then got distracted and forgot.

    but even if only half Mr Greene’s allegations prove to be true, what happened is even more horrifying than Kate Kendall’s article suggests.

    That was EXACTLY my reaction when I read it.

  • 37. Jason  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Here's more on the forced apart story – http://bayarea.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/suit-

    I also read earlier that the Sonoma County counsel had noted that there were domestic abuse issues between the two men. Yeah right.

  • 38. Juli  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I received a mailing from NCLR yesterday about the case that said "Thus far, the county workers who tore Clay and harold's life apart have been fired". I'm not finding that on their website, so don't have a link for you.

  • 39. Sagesse  |  April 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Heartbreaking, disgusting and despicable. In some jurisdictions this charge would result in a full investigation of the county agency to determine how this happened, and whether there were other cases.

  • 40. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Here is one of the videos of GetEqual letting OB know what's what…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tnbTfCkZTw&fe

  • 41. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Here's the full video….<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX9AMRV2ZHw&fe

  • 42. Sagesse  |  April 20, 2010 at 1:21 am

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/16/granderson….

    This article points out the inconsistency between Obama's move to ensure hospital visitation and respect for medical proxies, while DADT denies LGBT servicemembers and their families those same rights.

  • 43. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 2:35 am

    See there is always more to the story….and the Hateros lose again….
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/2

    Posted on Advocate.com April 20, 2010
    Tenn. School Relents on "Gay" T-Shirts
    By Julie Bolcer

    According to the Chattanoogan, Greebrier High School officials have given their assurances to the ACLU and Lambda Legal. The negotiations stemmed from an incident on April 5, when officials at the school in White House deemed that the t-shirt worn by Cole Goforth with a gay reference to pop singer Lady Gaga would be “disruptive.” The school also told the 15-year-old that he could not wear a t-shirt in support of marriage equality for the same reason.

    (me) See not only was it the I heart shirt….there was also a shirt that supports equality…..but the Hateros can wear their religious shirts?!!!……wait for it…..

    “The ACLU said the student’"had long been subjected to daily anti-gay harassment at school, including threats of physical violence. Goforth was not only unable to get relief from the school, he was told by school employees that he had 'brought [harassment] on himself by coming out [as gay],’” reports the Chattanoogan.

    (me) excuse me?!!!!…..he brought it on himself?!!!!!!…Well there you go….then it is safe to say…..if we verbally bash the hateros and call them bigots and threaten them…..they brought it on themselves by coming out as hateros….reports the <3…Ronnie

    P.S. NOBODY aks to be physically threatened with violence or verbal harassed, you should think about.

  • 44. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 3:00 am

    OMG you guys/gay they've done it again…..
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/2

    Posted on Advocate.com April 20, 2010
    Developing: DADT Protest at White House
    By Julie Bolcer

    Preliminary tweets indicate that six U.S. military veterans have chained themselves to the White House fence Tuesday afternoon in order to protest the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Those participating in the action include Lt. Dan Choi (pictured) and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, who were arrested in a similar action last month.

    Join us in supporting Lt. Dan Choi, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas as they take action at the White House to demand that DADT be repealed through this year's DAB."

    Story developing.

    (me) I just heard that there's supposed to be a protest supporting the repeal of DADT on May 8th…..but this is so much better…..Choi has got some serious apples…..<3…Ronnie

  • 45. John  |  April 20, 2010 at 3:34 am

    It's sickening that people still think kids are responsible for their own harassment if they are LGBT.

  • 46. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 3:36 am

    UPDATE: there are awesome pictures of the six of them all in uniform…..<3…Ronnie
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/2

  • 47. Bob  |  April 20, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Great pics Ronnie, great actions on the part of the six, hope the momentum builds, and people just keep chaining themselves to the fence till DADT gets repealed for real.

  • 48. Billy  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:07 am

    It still bothers me that this isn't being covered at all in the mainstream media… why not?

  • 49. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Totes….GetEqual said that there was going to be more and they were going to pick up momentum every time…<3…Ronnie

  • 50. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Like i said before….the Hateros, the media and the government are not taking us or the Equality movement seriously…..boy are they in for a surprise….if they keep ignoring this…..They really do think that we are just gonna stop accept things the way they are and shut up…..pft…..AS IF!!!!!……<3….Ronnie

  • 51. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Well, Ronnie, they have a perfect argument — "Homos are sinners and pervs, thus they do not deserve any respect." Translation (I'm very good at translations — I'm a Russian bilingual gay man, heheh): "Constitution says we all are equal, but the Bible says sinners are inferior, so the Bible wins. Period."

    So, the answer to your question would be: "WE the people" means "WE the Christian God-fearing non-sinful people"… Aha… Somebody erased that C-word and several following from the text… it was implied… we all are fools not to know that it was implied… aha… seriously… doncha know that? even five-year-olds know that!

    You know, guys, it's just scary to dwell among people who live by that logic…

    K, all the way from Russia

  • 52. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 5:07 am

    And that's where the loose the argument….there is no such thing as implied law…wording is key…..and then there is the fact that they instantly make ALL those who do not follow the Bible illegal….and that "non-sinful" thing makes all people illegal…on every level know to man….the second you lie, no matter who big or small, you are now illegal….

    They're argument is not perfect..its flawed…due to separation of church and state and freedom of religion….The Bible doesn't win because the constitution says that I do NOT have to follow it….there is always an debunk for their lies and all they have is "The Bible says so"……not Mine….PWND Hateros….hahahahaha(sinister laugh)….<3…Ronnie

  • 53. Bee  |  April 20, 2010 at 5:38 am

    My sister goes to the school and knows that kid. His mother is supposedly going against the school for violating his rights as well as the harassment. To be honest, though, a lot of the kids that go there are gay, but Greenbrier is such a small town (like you can drive right through it and not realize it) that they get away with stuff like that. I'm not a fan of the principal there. He doesn't even think kids should read once they get in high school and is basically one of those stereotypical Southern, Christian males.

  • 54. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 20, 2010 at 6:04 am

    You know what's scary, Ronnie?
    Ignorance of people who will never believe you when you tell them there is no implied wording of law… who live by the Bible, not by the Constitution… who think the Bible is above Constitution…

    And you know whose fault is that? The government's! God is incorporated in the government everywhere…
    What do we see on dollar bills? — “In God We Trust”!
    What do we do before opening hearings in Senate? — Pray to God!

    I don't care who people believe in and why, but that shouldn't take place in the governmental facility! It's not a place of worship, for heinie's sake! Why do they pray to God there? Why do they print we all believe in God if clearly some of us do not (or we believe in different Gods)?! That is just absurd! But this is the reason why people are confusing the Bible with the Constitution and this is why they cannot understand which one of them is really the law of the land and which is just a collection of fairy tales that are supposed to teach us some lessons of life (and how to treat our slaves while we're at it)…

    K

  • 55. Kathleen  |  April 20, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Well…. actually there is such a thing as "implied law," in the way I think it's being used here. For example, try to find a "right of privacy" in the U.S. Constitution.

    But your point that the religious right seem to think protections only apply to them is correct. They even make the argument that the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment are one-way — that is, it guarantees the government can't infringe on their religion, but doesn't protect government from religion. The "Wall Builders" are an organization that have famously made up fake "history" to prove their point.

    A while back, Keith Olbermann did a segment on this topic: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/35339907#3

    But even if that WERE true, why should their brand of Christianity trump the many legitimate religions in the US which DO support marriage equality?

  • 56. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I guess what I meant was there is no implied law or protections in the statement…."We the people"……example Loving v. Virginia…..no matter what the Hateros say about race not being the same as orientation…..that doesn't negate the fact that the excuses(I mean arguments) to criminalize interracial marriage were deeply embedded in religious doctrine and the majorities idea of what is "normal", "traditional" and "human" same as the are with Equality…..they just refuse to accept the parallels….and the fact that they can't force us to be Christian or any other religion and that's their problem…..denial should be officially categorized as a mental disorder(that can be cured)…..JMHGO….<3…Ronnie

  • 57. Charlie Galvin  |  April 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    And it's so much easier to justify it when there is lots of money and valuable property at stake and there is no family who cares except another old homo who is clearly demented. He must be. He thinks his relationship and those papers mean something.

  • 58. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    “They even make the argument that the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment are one-way — that is, it guarantees the government can’t infringe on their religion, but doesn’t protect government from religion.” (via Kathleen)

    That is such a bullshit!
    Why do we have different religions? Because they have major differences in their dogmas and teachings that cannot be overlooked. Thus, if some religion infringes some laws on every resident (of every religion, if any), that would mean people of different religions will have to suffer the consequences — their own religion may not support those changes being infringed on its followers… and thus we have a bit of a situation on our hands — one religion dictates its values for everyone on a secular level, in a secular institution — the government (which primary purpose is to serve the people… all the people of the country, that is… the people of all religions… the people who are supposed to be equal — this principle is the cornerstone of any modern society). Dictatorship of one religion over all the others goes directly against freedom of religion, for there is no freedom if one religion imposes some rules that are based on its teachings. Religions have no business in the government. This is where it is appropriate to say "Period!"

    Allowing same-sex couples to form governmentally recognized sexual unions with all the rights and benefits already available to married opposite-sex couples regardless of religion, race, and many other factors is not an imposition on followers of religions that do not see such unions as acceptable — the government does NOT compel those followers to:
    – perform and/or solemnize those marriages;
    – recognize those unions at all (they don't have to call those people married; or call them spouses, husbands, wives — freedom of speech is protected here… gay and lesbian residents only want the government to recognize their unions, NOT all the other residents of the country);
    – discriminate against those people on personal level (they can stop being friends, they can call those people "damn fags," they can say "We don't want to have anything to do with you; we don't want to talk to you ever again; we don't want to see you in our church that condemns gays.").

    What should not be allowed is discrimination against residents in businesses that work under the rules established by the government:
    – denial of service in various enterprises that work for profit (providing payed services for all residents) and pay taxes;
    – denial of housing and employment for gay and lesbian residents for no good reason.

    On the other hand, printing "In God We Trust" on US dollar bills is a serious imposition — it implies that all the residents of the country have a faith in one and only Christian God which is simply not true and it infringes on freedom of speech of those residents that do not associate themselves with Christianity or any religion whatsoever.

    Now, let's compare marriage certificate and US dollar bill. My marriage certificate does not say, "We the people of the United States solemnly swear to recognize the union of these two people and call it marriage." Nope, it practically says, "The Government of the Unites States officially recognizes the union of these two people and declares it marriage per their freewill request." The Government, NOT the people! And what does the US dollar bill say (implied part is in bolding)? — "In God We the people of the United States Trust" — thus they take away my freedom of religion and freedom of speech declaring for me to the whole world that I do believe in Christian God, even if I do not. Am I the only one who sees the incredible hypocrisy here?

    K

    P.S. When I say "my marriage certificate" I do not mean I have one… well, not yet anyway ;)

  • 59. RainboltArt  |  April 22, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I received an e-mail back from sonoma county.
    This is what they have to say. I feel (but don't know) that the truth is somewhere in the muck between the lawyers:
    Thank you for your email regarding the Harold Scull and Clay Greene matter involving the Sonoma County Public Guardian’s Office.  We appreciate the concern that has been expressed by the comments received and know that when the full facts are able to be revealed there will be a better understanding. It is the policy of this department not to disclose confidential matters concerning clients assisted by the agencies operating under its direction.  This is consistent with federal and state privacy laws.

    What can be legally shared at this point is as follows:  The Sonoma County Public Guardian became involved in this matter as a result of a report from Harold Scull that Clay Greene had physically assaulted him, resulting in Mr. Scull's hospitalization.  Mr. Greene's domestic violence against Mr. Scull has been independently verified during the course of litigation, including reports of witnesses who tended to Mr. Scull following his hospitalization.

    Recent online commentary reflects a distorted presentation of the underlying facts.  The County is confident that when the full facts can be discussed they will show the individuals involved received appropriate services.  More importantly, we are confident that the facts will show that the services received by Mr. Scull and Mr. Greene reflect the ongoing commitment to protect vulnerable citizens from harm and that no issues of discrimination were present.

    Unfortunately, it appears the Plaintiffs are trying to litigate this case through the internet and the press – trying to spin the case as one of insensitivity towards people who happen to be gay by County Staff.  In fact, this case is really about domestic violence and the statutory obligation the County has to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse and harm.

    Thank you,

  • 60. John  |  April 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Even if there was alleged domestic violence, that is a matter for the courts! You can't sell all of a man's possessions and throw him out of his home for alleged abuse.

    So . . .

    I call BULLSH*T.

  • 61. Roger  |  April 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Accusing the plaintiffs in this case of spinning strikes this observer as a fine example of the pot trying to call the kettle black.

    The case is not just about discrimination — Mr Greene and Mr Scull's executor are suing the County and its contractors for no fewer than 20 separate breaches of its statutory obligation to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse and harm.

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