Why marriage is important – gay and straight: A story of elder abuse

Reposted from sister blog BuryingTheLead.com

I cannot believe just how horrific some stories of abuse can turn out to be, especially for the elderly.  All too often, cases of our elders being taken for granted and scammed are in the news, and the actual act of elder abuse is rampant.  Try doubling elder abuse with that of gay elders, and you get the following story.

A gay elderly couple that had been together for quite a while named Clay and Howard lived in Sonoma County, California.  Now you think of Sonoma, and think – this place is just North of San Francisco, and it is known as the wine country.  It has to be progressive.  Well not for Clay and Howard.  You see, Howard (age 88) fell down outside his and Clay’s (age 77) home.  Unable to care for him, Howard was put in a nursing home.  But things took a dramatic turn for the worse.  Clay was forbidden by the County to see Howard.  Clay himself was put in his own nursing home.  The County and the facility declared that Clay and Howard were just “roommates”, and thus Clay had no legal right to either see Howard, nor make any decisions about his care.

This is an excerpt from the article that is most horrific – though I plead with everyone to read the entire thing over at NCLRights.org:

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.

This is beyond chilling and horrific.  This is some of the most disgusting treatment of gay elders that I have ever read about.  And I ask you this one question:  Would this have happened to a man and a woman who were married?  No, not at all.  So why would we allow this to occur to a gay couple?

Marriage is about love, and gay and lesbian couples have and express love just like their straight counterparts.  But it is also about protection and civil rights provided by law.  This is why marriage is so very important – gay and straight.

  • First off, this didn’t happen to ME. It happened to a gay couple in Sonoma. Read the whole fucking article first.

    I will admit one thing; I should have said that this would have have a much smaller chance if this were a straight married couple, than an unmarried gay couple. But you’re the one with blinders on. What was the title of my post? It was “Why marriage is important – GAY AND STRAIGHT”.

    And another thing, moron (see, I can name call too!). Your solution, “Make a call here, make a call there, etc, etc” DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DONE FOR MARRIED COUPLES. Get a life.

  • DH

    Disgusting story. …chilling, horrific, without permission, insult added to grave injury, lost a rental and contents for nonpayment… this is SO to laugh at! How dare you speculate this would never have happened to a woman-man couple. Your ignorance of eldercare is the shocker here. Gayness-disenfranchisement agenda blinds you from routines of having SO irresponsibly managed your elderly years. With shock-trauma stories like your's never include stories of responsible folks who avail themselves – regardless of orientation – to the 5 or 10 minutes it takes to phone your local ombudsman or council on aging about housing, call your doctor and tell him you'll send him his copy of both your (free online printable form) Advanced Medical Directives, spoken with your local fire dept about age-exemptions for elderly transport ambulancing, phoned the IRS and your bank to establish Rep Payee status. I'll bet you still don't even know your core document through all of this was your Physician's Report! The half day to handle all these things is far too complex for you. You lost your possessions because you were too 'stricken' to pay the lousy senior discount on a storage unit for your 'memorable possessions'. You and your partner are poster children for all the thousands of sticker-shock folks who want life spoon-fed to them inch-by-govt-benefit-inch. Doing a few hours online research, some phone calls to your doctor, the govts financial and eldercare agencies… far too much work to invest in for your (now not so comfortable) golden years. Instead of chewing your BigBrother paranoia cud, how about a 2 minute toll-free call to the IRS to set up a Rep Payee appt at their office. Once there, 5 minutes will safeguard all your finances, possessions, personal interactions, caregiving issues – resolved exactly to your specs. This article should frighten every US citizen. Not for what happened to you, falling prey to your own flagrant irresponsibilities toward your eldercare needs, but because you'll forego recalling fondly those 20 years – two decades – you shared together in your chosen lifestyle and relationship, with nary a speck of consideration for your future. Scariest of all, you did receive medical care, you did have a shared life, you did have possessions, you only lost those. For those of us who have say 40+ years serving our loved one's eldercare needs, the ease and simplicity of the government's existing system confounds those who discover it. But your lets-go-socialist/I-didn't-get-it-all-done-for-me whining is equal to treason. What in the world did you think happens when you get age. This has NOTHING to do with gender orientation or lifestyle. The County took your stuff and auctioned it because you didn't manage your blended financial picture, your incomes, your pensions, your medical agenda, your next 5 months (let alone 5 years) of living circumstances. Sadly, you are FAR from alone in being victims of yourself. You blame the very govt whose benefits you never (and I bet still haven't) researched. After-the-fact contemptibly spoiled, ranting behavior entering your golden years comfortably. Sorry that aging meant you'd have to get off your behinds to actually use the phonebook, make an office visit, speak to a few agencies. With media so conveniently drooling for your brand of shock-and-trauma fodder. I weep for your true blindness. It's because you are irresponsible, not old, nor gay. If you (and the media) removed your agenda-blinders, this HUGE ratings story would have been on the 123's of easy eldercare mgmt … responsible late-years life maintenance. I want to pity you. But you don't deserve it, because you're too blind to see, care, resource, discovery, or even try to exercise your anger-shrouded energies and responsibility skill sets, to know your circumstances is still, easily very redeemable.

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