The National: Sonoma Co, CA Separated Gay Partners, Sold Their Possessions


(Photo: Flickr/User Nyghtowl)
From the National Center for Lesbian Rights comes a heartbreaking story of two gay men from Sonoma County, California, who thought they’d arranged all the legal paperwork to be treated like a married couple, but ran into a cruel wall of hate when one fell down the steps of their home, and was hospitalized. (Readers should note that the NCLR’s blog post is missing a lot of critical information – last names, dates, further explanation for certain events described in the narrative – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s false)

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.

The County proceeded to ignore their legal agreements, and went so far as to place the couple in separate nursing homes, and ask a judge for the ability to seize Harold’s possessions in order to pay his medical bills. The judge granted part of the County’s request, after which the couple’s house and other possessions were sold off. Harold died three months later in a nursing home, leaving Clay with nothing but a photo album Harold painstakingly assembled as he was dying.

The NCLR is helping Clay sue Sonoma County, the nursing home where he was forced to stay as Harold died, and the auction house that sold all his and Harold’s possessions. A trial date has been set for June 16th of this year.

Elsewhere…

D.C. – Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin again say ENDA will get a vote in the next two weeks. Let’s just hope that he’s not trying to resuscitate a Tinkerbell with his repeated pronouncements. (Metro Weekly)

D.C. – The Advocate asks: Will Obama ever expend a lot of political capital to help the LGBT community? (The Advocate)

Massachusetts – GOP picks a pro-gay, anti-trans pair to run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Let’s hope the gays in my home state aren’t duped. (Towleroad)

Iowa – The Feds are funding a group that wants to have LGB people locked up. Until they can do that, however, they’re at the forefront of the fight against marriage equality in the Hawkeye State. (Joe.My.God)

Australia – Former Olympic swimmer comes out (and he’s hot!), and praises efforts by the Australian Football League to stamp out homophobia in its ranks. (Towleroad)

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