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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Elderly Gay Couple Forcibly Separated, Abused, Robbed By County Officials in California

Posted by on Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 11:09 AM

This is shocking and outrageous:

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.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. 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. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes. Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

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.

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.

Clay is now suing the county, the auction company, and the nursing home. This story should get as much attention as Constance McMillen's story. More attention. There should be protests outside the hospital and county administration buildings. And I think another phone call from the president is called for.

 

Comments (144) RSS

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1
It looks like none of the local papers have done anything on this story. Strange.
Posted by Meat Weapon on April 18, 2010 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Griffin 2
Holy shit.
Posted by Griffin on April 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM · Report this
4
I am caught between horror, disbelief, and absolute outrage over this. California? FUCK. YOU. I hope this lawsuit bleeds you dry. I wish the verdict would also sentence every official involved getting their livlihood sold away and their loved ones forcibly ripped from them. They deserve the isolation and torment they cause these men. I am so furious about this I just have no words to describe how evil this is.
Posted by Aedan Robinson on April 18, 2010 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Griffin 5
Well, Sonoma Co. discussed the case in a closed meeting last November: http://www.sonoma-county.org/board/meeti…

Here's the full case title/number for those who can get into databases to try to find the whole complaint, which doesn't yet seem to be online

Clay M. Greene, Jannette Biggerstaff, Executor of the Estate of Harold Scull, Deceased v. County of Sonoma, et al.Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma, SPR-81815

(Govt. Code Section 54956.9(a))

There's no news coverage popping up on the Google, either. Perhaps that should change.
Posted by Griffin on April 18, 2010 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Vince 6
Aren't kidnapping and grand larceny federal crimes? That's exactly what these crimes are!
Posted by Vince on April 18, 2010 at 8:48 AM · Report this
seandr 8
This is truly fucking awful.

I'll bet this isn't the first elderly person or couple (gay or straight) who have been completely ripped off and robbed of their rights by Sonoma county.
Posted by seandr on April 18, 2010 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
Stupid fuckers. I hope they're driven out of business.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 18, 2010 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 10
Didn't something similar (not exactly the same) to this happen to a 20+ relationship same-sex couple in Oklahoma, where the judge awarded the estranged family members of a dead gay man his half of estate owned by both men? I wished I could remember the parties involved with that case.

This kind of shit makes my blood boil. If this is true, I hope this man is able to sue their asses back into the stone age.
Posted by Frau Blucher on April 18, 2010 at 9:15 AM · Report this
11
Unbelievably horrible. We all hope their lawsuit succeeds, but the cold truth is that there is no possible outcome to the case that will make up for the injustice and inhumanity that these men suffered.
Posted by siduri on April 18, 2010 at 9:20 AM · Report this
12
Hmm. This press release from Clay's lawyers - hungry for a fat contingency fee - is very light on facts, and very heavy on spin.

Why was Clay in a nursing home if he was in "good health?" Is he physically in good shape, but mentally gone? Why, if they were so careful about having all the right paperwork in place, did they not have a lawyer they could call the moment things went south? Were they pretty much broke even before the State intervened? Is that why the State intervened?

The whole thing smells very fishy. If local papers aren't covering it, it may well be that the State was doing the right thing (or at least trying to), and a couple of ambitious lawyers are trying to stir up a controversy where none should exist.

Of course, it's also possible that the State kidnapped Clay and robbed him blind, in which case this is way more important than kids going to prom.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 9:27 AM · Report this
13
Just heart breaking. It would seem mankind's ability to hate knows no bounds. Really disgusting, I'm just sickened by this story.
Posted by Davidicus on April 18, 2010 at 9:28 AM · Report this
14
Notice that Clay is now represented by court-appointed counsel. That means he's either mentally incompetent, indigent, or both. The fact that he clearly didn't have his own attorney before suggests that one or both of these was true even when his husband was alive.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 15
I'm glad to see Kendall, Minter, and Co. are atop this.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 16
@12: They're hardly "ambitious" lawyers — which suggests a naïveté, inexperience, or whatever. They're experienced, the real deal, and have a unassailable track record for representing and observing such human and civil rights cases.

Case: Shannon Minter at NCLR made the argument in court challenging the Prop. 8 mess back in 2009. But he goes way back further than that.

Also, Kate Kendall wields the most powerful, confident, awesomesalad handshake of anyone I've ever met.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 9:36 AM · Report this
17
@16: I don't think of ambition as a pejorative. To be ambitious is to have confidence in one's own potential and the drive to see it through. People can be ambitious at every stage of life. For example, U.S. Senators are not usually naive and inexperienced, but many of them have ambitions for the Presidency.

I'm glad to know Clay is now in good hands, whatever the facts of the case.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 18
@17: actually, to expand on something you criticized in @12, it is actually the norm, not the exception, for local papers to not be paying attention to a legal petition until — at a minimum — the district court dismisses or rules against it and an appeal is brought to the court of appeals. And even then, it usually isn't until an appeals opinion is issued that media begin to sit up and take notice to potentially precedent-testing case law coming down the pipe. Having been there and done that, it's not that surprising, either: unless it is sensational (i.e., "fire burns down house") or final (i.e., "court declares the act of speaking legal"), then it won't get the readership they want to assure advertisers their promised keep.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM · Report this
19
I would certainly like to hear more details on this case.
Posted by bitwise on April 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 20
@19: You might have to wait on that until discovery is complete.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Fnarf 21
SONOMA county? I would expect to hear about this in Orange, or Kern, or Riverside, or something. Disgusting.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on April 18, 2010 at 9:56 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 22
@14 - "The fact that he clearly didn't have his own attorney before suggests that one or both of these was true even when his husband was alive. "

Not having a lawyer of your own before anything goes wrong is a sign of mental incompetence or indigence?
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on April 18, 2010 at 10:01 AM · Report this
linda with a y 23
JOIN THE FACEBOOK PAGE "JUSTICE FOR CLAY GREENE AND HAROLD OF SONOMA COUNTY, CA"..

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/page…

Here is another link. Apparently Jay Leffew of "Gay Family Values" tried to get the story in the local newspaper and never heard back from them.
http://open.salon.com/blog/depfox/2010/0…

Another link to the paper that wouldn't print the story.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/999…


This story needs full exposure.

Rest in Peace Harold Scull.

Hang in there Clay Greene, we're trying to spread the word.
Posted by linda with a y on April 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM · Report this
24
@7: Please provide a link for this group - I couldn't find it...
Posted by MT3 on April 18, 2010 at 10:04 AM · Report this
25
@21: Exactly. Sonoma County is one of the best places in America to be gay. That's what makes me suspicious of this press release, and makes me wonder what else, apart from homophobia, might have motivated county officials to do what they did. There may be another side to this story.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 26
close tag and the tag.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 27
Oh, and this tag , too.

Linda with a y, was it really necessary to overkill the bold/underscore/italics tags all at once?
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 10:08 AM · Report this
linda with a y 28
sorry, my bad
Posted by linda with a y on April 18, 2010 at 10:09 AM · Report this
linda with a y 29
Well I thought it was or I wouldn't have done it!
Posted by linda with a y on April 18, 2010 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 30
No worries.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 10:14 AM · Report this
31
Here's another case from their docket...talk about $540 buying you a whole lot of trouble...

http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer…


Kim Smith and Maggie Quale are two women who were in a committed romantic relationship for over two years. They held a commitment ceremony before family and friends in January 2008. They decided to have children together and, after Maggie was unable to get pregnant using sperm from a sperm bank, they ended up using a friend’s boyfriend as a sperm donor. Kim and Maggie paid the donor $540 for his sperm from their joint bank account. They had twins, and raised them together for approximately six months before breaking up. The donor did not meet the twins until they were approximately one month old, and only saw them at most five times during the first six months of the babies’ lives. After the break-up, Maggie severely limited contact between Kim and the twins. Kim then filed a parentage action in Santa Cruz County family court, asserting her parental rights and requesting joint custody. As a defense to Kim’s parentage action, Maggie asked the sperm donor to return from a distant state, file a paternity action, and move in with her and the twins.


Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 18, 2010 at 10:18 AM · Report this
32

Oh, and it seems like the STYLE attribute isn't supported (tried

and ).

Is there a guide to acceptable HTML for SLOG comments?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 18, 2010 at 10:20 AM · Report this
33
@22: "Not having a lawyer of your own before anything goes wrong is a sign of mental incompetence or indigence?"

Things seem to have gone very wrong for a very long time before Clay got his current lawyers. Your guess is as good as mine as to why that was.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM · Report this
34
I can't believe that happened in Sonoma County! If all the facts are what they seem to be, he should sue the fuck out 'em. Anyone know which nursing home/hospital? I'd love to give them a piece of my mind.
Posted by bassplayerguy on April 18, 2010 at 10:34 AM · Report this
35
Dan, that story is truly fucked up, like absolutely fucked up. I can't believe people could be so heartless even if they were homophobic they were just soulless. However, I know you are very well spoken and knowledgeable but I think you cloud your mind so much with just current events involving gay/lesbian communities that you maybe miss some things. Do you really think this merits a call from the president? I just think there are more fucked up things that you are missing and deciding that this cause is the single most important, which i think is untrue.
Posted by anal smith on April 18, 2010 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Mary P. Traverse 36
I'm typing this through tears. This is one of the worst, saddest stories I've ever heard. I hope every asshole that did this to them has their partner ripped away from them too. Jesus.
Posted by Mary P. Traverse http://www.nerdhole.org/ on April 18, 2010 at 10:39 AM · Report this
37
You can submit comments about the case of Clay Greene and Harold Scull here:

http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/con…

If they get a few dozen comments and people from out of the county express thoughts about not vacationing there or buying Sonoma County wines then maybe they will do something.
Posted by dennis on April 18, 2010 at 10:41 AM · Report this
38
Is there anywhere we can donate some money, or send a card or email of support to Clay and his legal team?

This whole story is absolutely infuriating and depressing.
Posted by Karla http://underthewagon.com on April 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 39
This is beyond horrible.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on April 18, 2010 at 10:46 AM · Report this
kim in portland 40
Read this story yesterday on Bilerico. So tragic. Last I heard trial date is set for 16 July, 2010 in Superior Court for Sonoma County.

Give the Santa Rosa Press Democrat a little attention, if you feel so moved at Letters@pressdeomcrat.com.

Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on April 18, 2010 at 10:57 AM · Report this
linda with a y 41
http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer…

Here's another article where the couple thought they had done everything they needed to do and still the survivor had to fight for what was lawfully his.

These examples, along with Janice and Lisa's story, are some of the biggest reasons Marriage equality should be signed into law. I don't think it can get any clearer.
Posted by linda with a y on April 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 42
BABH:

As someone who spent a couple years working in nursing homes (until I realised it was not right for my personality), I too often found myself caught in situations where doctors would claim that a senior wasn't competent for medical care because of transient forgetfulness, deep grief, etc. I remember one woman who was severely confused while she had an infection, but whose confusion completely went away once the infection was treated. It took lots of complaints from nursing staff over three months and the threat of calling in lawyers before the doctor (who came in once every two weeks to see 80 patients) agreed to list her as competent again.

Someone who's been declared incompetent may or may not even be able to hire a lawyer to fight for them, depending on the jurisdiction.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on April 18, 2010 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Annag 43
I kind of feel like I'm in shock after reading that.
Posted by Annag on April 18, 2010 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 44
Next to nothing shocks me anymore. Not even this.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 11:23 AM · Report this
45
I'm with the skeptics -- it seems there are some missing facts here. The whole lawyer thing -- if they already had all kinds of legal documents drawn up, why didn't they call that lawyer? And could the two guys have been put into different nursing homes because they had drastically different needs? Harold could have been put in a hospice while wherever "they put" Clay could've been a rehab hospital (of the non-drug sort) -- he did get out, when was the last time you heard of an old guy getting out of a nursing home? And I have a hard time believing the newspaper wouldn't've written this up -- I suspect Clay never called a reporter. But I could be wrong.
Posted by idaho on April 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM · Report this
46
@42: Yes, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that doctors are to blame for some of this.

I can also imagine scenarios in which the county was actually doing the Right Thing, and would have done the same even with a legally married heterosexual couple.
Posted by BABH on April 18, 2010 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Badger 48
I think I'd like to see the actual legal paperwork before I decide one way or the other how I feel about this. I don't think the Slog post gives me enough information to make a completely informed decision. This sounds like an unbelievable situation - and that is kind of a red flag.
Posted by Badger on April 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 49
@48: It's not a matter for you or us to decide, you see.

Refer to the link at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (per the original posting) as your starting point. Then, if it really interests you, I'm quite sure you can contact the Sonoma County courthouse for a registered copy of the legal complaint, which should be public record. It will probably run you a small fee. I'm sure you can afford it. Then from there, you can watch to see how the whole thing plays out in court, assuming it reaches trial and not settlement or summary judgment for dismissal.

Your itching for "deciding" sans prima facie sounds like you are fed the Murdoch & Fox Wonder Potion on a daily basis. Take twelve times a day til empty, then call for a refill. Deciding is one of the slowest, most deliberate conclusions on which to arrive, but somehow Americans have this notion that it's one of the first and simplest. That's half the U.S.'s problem right there. La, la, and la.
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Telsa Grills 50
@48: also, mushroom.

(oh, and snaaaaaake.)
Posted by Telsa Grills on April 18, 2010 at 12:11 PM · Report this
The Max 54
Yeah. I too would like to hear a little more about the other side's side of things. But whatever their side is, it's pretty fuckin' freaky that something like this could happen out in California. Sonoma County, even.
Posted by The Max on April 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM · Report this
rob! 55
BABH is sounding an appropriate note of caution, in the absence of much more specific and detailed information.

While it's possible that some homophobic bureaucrats made a wrong decision at one or two key points, these kinds of things happen also to elderly heterosexual couples and singles. If there are not close (physically and emotionally), supportive friends or family to help or intervene, people can be removed from their homes by well-meaning county authorities, plunked in nursing homes, and have their worldly goods disposed of. I can see Clay being despondent after Harold's fall, maybe not bathing, shaving, or eating right for a couple of weeks until a well-meaning neighbor called the police or social-service agency for a welfare check. The whole Sonoma-Mendocino-Marin area of northern California is filled with well-to-do, socially liberal people, and many gay-friendly resorts. Most likely this situation just snowballed bureaucratically (not that that makes it any less traumatic for the victims). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Clay and Harold were somewhat socially isolated at the time this went down.

Let's just take a deep breath, not overreact, press for more facts, and be ready to support.

This kind of thing will become much more common--Baby Boomers are just starting to retire in large numbers. Not saying it's the case with Clay and Harold at all, but the BB-ers as a group have fewer children, more possessions, are more self-centered and insistent on doing things the way they want, and tend to have unrealistic expectations about the way end-of-life issues will play out.

If you're well off, the best thing you can do when your health begins to fail is move into a caring community, independent or commercial--in the latter you buy into a kind of concentric structure where initially you have your own self-contained apartment but can take community meals, then you move toward assisted and group living, then finally nursing or hospice care (with perhaps episodes of acute care for fixable things along the way). We would all do well to think carefully about community and lifestyle, not just about wills and powers of attorney--they actually don't cover every contingency.
More...
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on April 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM · Report this
beckysharp 58
Told myself I was going to start this Monday all positive and cheerful, now I've descended into cynicism again. There are some loathsome people in the world. I hope Clay Greene wins his lawsuit.
Posted by beckysharp on April 18, 2010 at 12:38 PM · Report this
60
The institution of marriage, however you feel about it, is powerful in America. This case makes it clear that wills and court orders are no substitute for a marriage license. I hope Clay wins his lawsuit, and I hope the county goes broke as a result. It's the only way they'll learn to stop fucking with people's lives.
Posted by Brandon J. on April 18, 2010 at 12:57 PM · Report this
61
OK, if this is actually true, its outrageous, on a whole different out of this world level to the Constance issue. If true, Sonoma County needs to be sued for all its worth, and whats MUCH worse for them, it needs to have media trucks all over town covering this like mad. I'd love to see the faces of the clerks when they see the San Francisco Examiner, SFGate et. al. tallking about this shit. The losses from tourism money would hurt them more than the settlement.

HOWEVER what I'd REALLY like is for an enterprising reporter to get to the bottom of the facts in this case. What we have now is almost exactly hearsay. Outrageous if true, but some independent verification is needes before we get the (metaphorical) knives out.
Posted by Lynx on April 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM · Report this
rob! 62
Troll, are you a person of religious faith? Which one?

Based on the personality characteristics you display here flagrantly and frequently, it seems extremely unlikely there are other people you are close to.

If you interact with others in person the way you do here, which seems extremely likely, life will only get lonelier as time goes on. I've known residents like you in the nursing home where I volunteer. Good luck in your declining years, and I mean that sincerely--you'll need it. There's an awful lot of leeway between what the law requires nursing staff to do even for cranky, verbally abusive, and combative patients, and what you might prefer for your own comfort.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on April 18, 2010 at 1:02 PM · Report this
63
The Press Democrat is owned by the New York Times. I'm not sure a small, local paper is going to care about people from other states outside their circulation area complaining that they are refusing to cover this story.
Wouldn't it make more sense to go after their owner, the New York Times. The Times has national circulation and subscribers as well as a base in New York City with a large LGBT and Ally community. They have a declining subscriber base. Wouldn't a lot of people in New York City consider complaining to the Times and possibly canceling subscriptions over this?
If this story got out a lot of people in New York City would be angry that a publication owned by the New York Times is refusing to cover this case. If people are going to complain go to the top.
Posted by kwinbrooklyn on April 18, 2010 at 1:03 PM · Report this
jasonzenobia 64
@55 and BABH -

Odds are this couple got caught in the machinery of the Medicaid rules. Medicare doesn't cover nursing homes. In order to qualify for Medicaid you have to "spend down" the patient's assets so that they qualify (i.e. Medicaid only covers people in poverty.) For heterosexual married couples there are exemptions to the "spend down" requirement so that the patient's spouse isn't left destitute. Those exemptions don't apply to same-sex couples, thanks to DOMA. Once that Medicaid bureaucracy got set into motion and Harold was declared to have no family, I'm sure Clay never knew what hit him. The poor old guy is 77 years old, has it never occurred to you that a 77 year old man might be vulnerable to a bureaucracy run amok?

While this case is heartbreaking, don't automatically assume that the courts will do the right thing. The Medicaid rules are clear, and unless Clay's lawyers are prepared to make this a fight about the unconstitutionality of DOMA, he may have little legal recourse. Note that Obama's directive of last week will do absolutely nothing to change this situation. His order only stipulated that hospitals receiving Medicare/Medicaid funding had to give patients the right to designate who could visit and make medical decisions on their behalf. It won't do anything to change who is considered a spouse for the purposes of the Medicaid "spend down" rule. I suspect that Obama will claim that DOMA doesn't allow him the legal latitude to order that change.
Posted by jasonzenobia http://jasonzenobia.blogspot.com/ on April 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM · Report this
samktg 65
Wow, this absolutely breaks my heart.
Posted by samktg on April 18, 2010 at 1:14 PM · Report this
rob! 66
(I doubt anyone will wonder, but @62 is directed to @51, 52, 53, 56, 57, and 59.)

@60, wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives can't always avoid this. Courts can and do order even heterosexual married couples to be moved to nursing homes on occasion if they both become incompetent and friends or family can't ensure their welfare in the home; over time, their dwelling and goods may be sold to pay expenses or satisfy tax liens. So the marriage license isn't necessarily magical.

@64, good point, depending on the timeline. Since Harold only lived 3 months after his fall, the nursing-home time should have fallen within the 90-day window after initial hospitalization for acute care that is covered by Medicare. I assumed they were quite well off, but depending on how long Clay was in the nursing home before he got released, ~$6000 a month can burn through savings pretty quickly.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on April 18, 2010 at 1:19 PM · Report this
67
Hmm...the trend continues.

Lots of support for the lesbian teen attending her prom.

Much less support of two gay guys being seperated from their long term partners.

So many double standards...so little time.

Posted by roadtripboy on April 18, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
68
Maybe if people complain pressure will be applied to the Press Democrat from above or the Times might even decide to cover the story on their own.

New York Times contact page:
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/…
mailto: Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Chairman & Publisher:
email address : publisher@nytimes.com
mailto:Scott H. Heekin-Canedy, President, General Manager
email address: president@nytimes.com

LGBT reporters at the New York Times:
Richard Berke, Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliot, Patrick Healy, Adam Nagourney, Horacio Silva, Stefano Tonchi, Eric Wilson, Holland Cotter

Richard Berke, Assistant Managing Editor contact form
http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/referen…
http://www.nytimes.com/gst/emailus.html
Posted by kwinbrooklyn on April 18, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
71
@64, but don't people get a CHOICE on whether their entire assets are put on sale to make them poor enough to qualify for Medicaid?

It seems to me that the issue here is that this couple had a WEALTH of legal documents to ensure that, in the event one of them was not competent to make decisions, the other would be able to take over. The allegation is that the county ran roughshod over these legal contracts and treated Harold like a senile man with no one to speak for him despite he most certainly did. In addition they sold assets belonging to two people while pretending that the estate was in fact only Harold's (who conveniently can't speak for himself), effectively robbing Clay of his home and belongings.

Again, I don't know whether the allegations are true, but if so I can't really see how this could POSSIBLY be legal, even if Clay had been a roomate and not a partner of 20 years.
Posted by Lynx on April 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM · Report this
venomlash 72
This is truly sickening. Good luck to Clay.

@47, 51-53, 56, 57, 70: Troll harder, faggot.
(Faggot in the South Park sense, of course.)
Posted by venomlash on April 18, 2010 at 1:48 PM · Report this
samktg 73
@72, But they are so much easier to burn in the firewood sense of the word.
Posted by samktg on April 18, 2010 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Frau Blucher 74
@62 - I've conclude we are the only friends the resident SLOG troll has.

Nobody could stand to be around someone that pathetic, in person.
Posted by Frau Blucher on April 18, 2010 at 1:58 PM · Report this
75
jesus
Posted by puddles on April 18, 2010 at 2:15 PM · Report this
77
Send this story to Rachel Maddow here her e-mail lets get her on this Rachel@msnbc.com
Posted by Kevzin on April 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM · Report this
HOT PUSSY 78
Cruel, inhuman, disgusting fucking animals. Completely unbelievable.
Posted by HOT PUSSY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4QKiYar9pI on April 18, 2010 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Wicked Virgin 79
Submit this story to Digg, Reddit, and the other social sites. Half the media use the front page of these site to get stories.
Posted by Wicked Virgin http://goo.gl/nBxVY on April 18, 2010 at 3:04 PM · Report this
80
In the absence of any facts given by the other side of the story, here, perhaps the right course of action is to write polite but firm letters to the county, the hospital, and so forth, asking them to clarify what happened. I'm thinking of this as kind of like writing Amnesty International letters. ("Please clarify whether [person] has in fact been charged with any crime...", subtext "We're watching you. Bastards.")

Getting a good journalist on it is also a good idea, though.
Posted by gemma on April 18, 2010 at 3:06 PM · Report this
linda with a y 81
Here is some additional information as well as a picture. Scroll about half way down the page to: "A Devastating Loss: Clay and Harold and the Rights of LGBT Elders"

http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer…
Posted by linda with a y on April 18, 2010 at 3:29 PM · Report this
83
@71 No, you don't always get to choose whether or not your assets are going to be spent down for medicaid, especially if the court has made the county your guardian. This would be even more dramatic if one or another had owned the home that they'd lived in, because that would probably have been liquidated, too. Medicare doesn't cover the cost of longterm care, medicaid does that, and it will go after your home to reimburse its costs even if you do have a will that stipulates who your house is supposed to pass to.
Posted by manitestdestiny on April 18, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
ScaryMara 85
I've been contacting local media outlets all day ( I live in the area) Thank you for bringing much needed attention to this Dan. I really appreciate it.
Posted by ScaryMara on April 18, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Badger 86
@48 You're right. From now on every decision I make will be based on as little information as possible - you have shown me the light!!

Corroboration from external sources is for losers - the SLOG is my new master!
Posted by Badger on April 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM · Report this
venomlash 88
@73: Kill it with FIRE, then?
Posted by venomlash on April 18, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
89
It's entirely possible the local government ( and not just in Sonoma Co.) took advantage of the precarious legal arrangement of the couple to rip them off. It would be interesting to see how often this has occurred with other unmarried couples, gay or straight and especially the elderly.

All very intriguing.
Posted by alisamc http://amcstubbornturtle.blogspot.com/ on April 18, 2010 at 4:52 PM · Report this
90
MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW!!!!!!!!!
Posted by David Ehrenstein on April 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM · Report this
samktg 92
@88, That's typically what's done with a faggot.
Posted by samktg on April 18, 2010 at 6:06 PM · Report this
rob! 94
@81, linda with a y, your link was very helpful in trying to make sense of this situation--thank you. It seems clear that county employees were culpable, and may have conspired with others to profit from the sale of their personal effects, or with nursing-home administrators to fill empty beds. There is much investigation to be done; I hope it is thorough and unsparing.

It also seems clear from that link that Clay and Harold made some mistakes in judgment, trying to stay too long without help in a house that was less and less suitable for their increasing disabilities, and whose upkeep was getting away from them (as I hinted @55)--none of which justifies IN ANY WAY the wrongs that were done to them.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on April 18, 2010 at 6:31 PM · Report this
95
Here's a link the Digg story you all should, please, digg up:

http://digg.com/search?s=Sonoma+County+s…
Posted by rubus on April 18, 2010 at 6:34 PM · Report this
96
@8 - My thoughts exactly. This is elder abuse as much as it's a gay rights issue.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on April 18, 2010 at 6:50 PM · Report this
97
I have been searching and researching this particular story all day, and can find no corroborating evidence to support this story. There is no last name for Harold, no hospital name, no judge name, no date of case filing, no date of the alleged injury. To me, this article has stunk like a fear ad from the very beginning. Does anyone have anything other that the same article to base this on?
Posted by Oldstudent on April 18, 2010 at 7:17 PM · Report this
98
This is why we need Gay Elder Space now!
Posted by CommonKnowledge on April 18, 2010 at 7:17 PM · Report this
102
Oh wow, thats pretty insane dude.

Lou
www.cops-r-watching.es.tc
Posted by zingyoo on April 18, 2010 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Teslick 103
101: Considering it was a legal/lawsuit matter, the subject would have been exempted from open meeting laws.

Agreed with the "we need more info", but on the face of it, horrible. I'd like to know when the power of attorney documentation was presented. I would think that would have certainly addressed Harold's visitation rights in the initial hospital stay, right?

As others have noted, this happens now to the aged and will happen more as the population gets older, unfortunately.
Posted by Teslick on April 18, 2010 at 8:32 PM · Report this
104
Their Facebook group for them has a page of links for media contacts to request that the story be covered and several government officials to complain to. A few hours ago the group had 200 people. Now it has 1700.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-fo…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-fo…
Posted by kwinbrooklyn on April 18, 2010 at 9:00 PM · Report this
105
Their Facebook group for them has a page of links for media contacts to request that the story be covered and several government officials to complain to. A few hours ago the group had 200 people. Now it has 1700.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-fo…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-fo…
Posted by kwinbrooklyn on April 18, 2010 at 9:09 PM · Report this
106
That is absolutely heart-breaking. When will enough be enough?
Posted by anaisninja on April 18, 2010 at 9:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 109
Time to BOYCOTT all wines from Sonoma County.

I've published that on my Twiiter and FB status feeds, read by thousands of people, half of which are media.

If EVERY person reading this does the same, maybe with #sonomaboycott as the twitter tag, we will be unstoppable.

ACTIONS ALWAYS speak louder than words - or EXCUSES for inaction.

DO IT!

Take Action. They can't stand against a worldwide action. They will cave faster than you realize.

This is how you take them on. Not by talking about it - but by taking ACTION.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on April 18, 2010 at 9:51 PM · Report this
raindrop 110
It's so easy these days to think that tolerance, acceptance, and compassion for same-sex partners (and homosexuality in general) is on an ever increasing upward trajectory, and then something like comes along. Sigh.
Posted by raindrop on April 18, 2010 at 9:55 PM · Report this
fannerz 111
Forcible confinement is a felony. A really fucking big felony. The state KIDNAPPED a citizen. This is disgusting. I hope that county has to auction off its mayor's office to pay back that poor man.
Posted by fannerz on April 18, 2010 at 10:57 PM · Report this
fannerz 112
Also, WHEN exactly did this happen? Because isn't it directly against that bran spanking new order from on high?
Posted by fannerz on April 18, 2010 at 10:58 PM · Report this
115
I live in Sonoma County, and was shocked into disbelief. This county is generally very gay-friendly. I've sent this out to all of my friends. I have a feeling that we will be hearing more about it. Those who did this should pay a price.
Posted by bgtinc on April 19, 2010 at 5:04 AM · Report this
116
This is indeed a sad story -- but believe it or not, it could have been worse! Although Clay was denied his right to make medical decisions for Harold and to visit him in the hospital, at least he did have legal documents in place so that he was able to sue those who wronged him.

Of course the vast majority of medical and state officials will recognize a person's Advance Directives. But, even when they do not, it is essential to have legal protections.

This story is just another tragic reminder that we need to get our legal ducks in a row or risk losing our rights to our partner and our property -- without any legal recourse.

You can get free advance directives especially for the LGBTQ community (available for all 50 states) at www.rainbowlaw.com
Posted by rainbowlaw on April 19, 2010 at 5:20 AM · Report this
119
i'm sure someone has already said this: a little more than a f*cking phone call from the president is in order! obama can keep his phone calls and meaningless memos and start keeping his campaign promises.
Posted by mml34 on April 19, 2010 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Queer Equality Revolution 120
We are systematically demonized, excluded, and mistreated (really outright abused; financially, emotionally, and psychologically).

Yet we pay taxes AS IF we are "real citizens". What kind of "citizen" of a free democracy would ever put up with this shit?

Bullies know that the sissies do not fight back (with anything besides sheets of paper and marches). It's time society's "sissies" use their FISTS (tax dollars). Anything else will be systematically ignored and dismissed.

MONEY IS POWER.
Posted by Queer Equality Revolution http://gaytaxprotest.blogspot.com/ on April 19, 2010 at 7:37 AM · Report this
123
Here is the contact site for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/con…

Let them know your feelings.
Posted by Clayton on April 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM · Report this
125
I may have posted an innaccurate url for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Use this one:
http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/con…
Posted by Clayton on April 19, 2010 at 8:19 AM · Report this
127
How very, very sad, this breaks your heart. So if your old you have no rights in California.
Posted by sleepyo on April 19, 2010 at 8:25 AM · Report this
129
George Orwell may have got the year wrong but he got the facts right.
Posted by sleepyo on April 19, 2010 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Tomec 132
Interesting how these stories are hidden from society. They are hidden because they are a 'black eye' on humanity and society.
There is another recent example of this in New York with a Stonewall veteran named Storme Delarverie.
As one commenter here stated, once the system has declared you incompetent you'll play hell getting your life back.
Posted by Tomec http://www.GayTalkRadio.org on April 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM · Report this
133
I still don't understand why hospitals refuse to let people visit patients. Regardless of their marital status or the legal status of their marriage. I'm in the hospital and my friend, wife, mother, coworker, whoever wants to see me. Who is the hospital to deny them?
Posted by Irving on April 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM · Report this
134
Let me assume, due to the large pick-axe that is current lodged in my brain, for a minute, that these two individuals were just roommates. It still seems reasonable to me, and my pick-axe, for a man with no family to want his friend of 20+ years to be at his side during his last days. It also seem perfectly logical that this man would also want his friend to be the one making any decisions that he might be unable to make, rather than some bureaucrat that he has never met. I would go on, about the rest of this horror, but really need to do something about this axe-pick.
Posted by Paul Robertson on April 19, 2010 at 9:55 AM · Report this
You Look Like I Need A Drink! 135
So what happened to the family values homophobes sermonize about so much?
Posted by You Look Like I Need A Drink! on April 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM · Report this
137
No you know why I moved to London Uk.
They have human rights here.
Posted by yank1961 on April 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM · Report this
139
this is the one of the most terrible things I ever heard about discrimination of gay people and I do consider myself very VERY lucky to live in Holland.
I am aware that acceptation is fragile and sometimes very pretended but one can live with that.

we still have to fight for our rights and in the year of 2010 that is unbelievable

Cor Kuiters
The Netherlands
Posted by cornelius on April 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM · Report this
140
California City (which is where "Clay" and "Harold" lived) is in Kern County. It is nearly 400 miles from California City to Santa Rosa (in Sonoma County). It is very unlikely that an elderly gentleman was taken, after a fall, 400 miles to be admitted to a hospital. Even more unlikely is the notion that Sonoma County officials would seize and auction off property in Kern County. Does anyone actually research this stuff? Right now, the only thing I can verify is the names of the attorneys mentioned in the NCLR bulletin (and the offices of the named attorneys are in Santa Rosa). The absence of the name of the hospital should also ring some alarm bells.
Posted by Aenghus on April 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM · Report this
143
Don't pile on me for saying this. What the Sonoma Co. authorities did was horrible and, I hope they'll pay for it, but these guys should have entered a Domestic Partnership, which is almost identical to marriage in California.

I only say this to remind others that POAs and medical directives are not "all" you can do in California.
Posted by BobSF_94117 on April 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM · Report this
145
there has to be more to this. a quick check of the Sonoma County Recorder's website doesn't show any (relevant) recorded power of attorney for either of the names given. it's a terrible situation but maybe it started from a misunderstanding and not virulent homophobia.
Posted by sinkingship on April 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM · Report this
djx 148
To anyone in comments who wants to talk shit about Clay's lawyers:
I don't know about the new lawyers hired on to help out his original lawyer, but let me tell you that to his original lawyer, who has been fighting for him for about 1 1/2 years with everyone ignoring her, Clay is more than a client. She cares for him like she would an aging parent or grandparent. If Clay looses his court case, I'm fairly certain she will continue taking care of him for the rest of his life at continued personal expense to her. To her, this case is not about money. Clay has NO ONE ELSE. She knows it's up to her to get justice for him and in lieu of that, to make sure he is safe for the remainder of his years.
Posted by djx on April 19, 2010 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Claypatch 150
As a former resident of Sonoma County I find this to be completely and utterly shocking. Sonoma County is a rural county, but not a rural "backwards" county, like you might see in Appalachia or in the outlying areas of Nevada or Arizona; its actually a fairly enlightened place, nestled firmly in that liberal heartland due north of San Francisco and not far from the marijuana Emerald Triangle. Historically its also been a place of refuge for artistic types and "back to the land" hippies. It has over the last 20+ years since I have lived there seen an explosion of suburban development and attendant rise in drug crime, partially brought along from gang migration from Southern Cali......
In other words I have no idea where this completely reprehensible behavior, on the part of the county officials, stems from. I am completely befuddled by this apparent lawless behavior and am asking my family that lives there if they know anything about this issue.
Posted by Claypatch on April 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM · Report this
151
Unbelievable and soo ignorant behaviour of local authorities, no respect for the longtime partners, no respect for individual rights and privacy, we in Europe were always raised with the belief that the USA was the new country in which opportunities were endless....yeah sure endless in horror and bigiotry.......
I sincerely hope and pray that this story will be picked up on a global scale, allowing Clay to at least sue the bloody daylights out of those a****s who were responsible for his ordeal, furthermore I hope that from a govermental administration somebody has "balls" enough to even get the president to look into this matter.
We can not restore what has been done to these poor two men, but showing our anger may bring some comfort to Clay's struggle, and if necessary we from the continent can support other actions in writing to your White House.
Posted by Nicolas Catalani on April 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM · Report this
153
Seems like criminal charges would be appropriate, not just civil suit.
Posted by kgrhoads on April 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Report this
156
this is heartbreaking and wrong... id like to say its unbelievable but with the way people are im not surprised. things like this need to stop.
Posted by l1ttleac0rns12 on April 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 157
And this is what you get from State run health care!
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Loveschild 158
I smell an orchestrated ruse in all of this. Wills not being honored in court? Unless the beneficiary in the will is not able to take care of her or himself due to a poor physical or mental condition, i find that hard to believe. Then again, the same article states that clay is in good health, so go figure. Something just doesn't add up. I've never put it past the individuals that head some lobby groups on the margins to use the elderly to make things up so that their ideological demands are codified into law. Sadly the ends justifies the means to some, and neither the young nor the old are spared from their tactics.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on April 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Dingo 159
Right. Because the best way to change the law is by filing bogus lawsuits based on easily disproven claims. Seriously, Loveshild. Do you never think before you post?

Or is it possible, just maybe, that deep-seated homophobia led the people responsible to ignore the wishes of these men, keep them from each other, disavow their relationship, steal their belongings, take their home, and ultimately deny them their last few months together?
Posted by Dingo on April 19, 2010 at 5:58 PM · Report this
160
Boycott *everything* Sonoma, including all wine, until justice has been served.
Posted by mercury613 on April 19, 2010 at 6:03 PM · Report this
venomlash 163
@161-162: To be fair, there's a decent chance they're not homophobes. They could just be greedy unethical bastards with no respect for the law and no moral compass. It might just be that they took advantage of two helpless old men not because they were afraid of catching Teh Ghey, but simply because they saw someone they could rip off.
Either way they're despicable people, and either way marriage equality would have prevented something like this from happening.
Posted by venomlash on April 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM · Report this
166
Good God that's HORRIBLE!!!! That they could even do that is unthinkable. The persons responsible need to be picketed at their homes, and fired from their jobs. To start.
Posted by thanatopathia on April 19, 2010 at 8:52 PM · Report this
168
This is absolutely heartbreaking, and simply outrageous that stuff like this goes in America in 2010. I truly wish Clay all the peace and happiness in the world.
Posted by mitten on April 19, 2010 at 10:10 PM · Report this
170
this story is fiction, no cites, no concrete detail. i am not denying that this kind of horrible situation could happen, i am just saying that this particular story is fabricated.
Posted by scofieldMD on April 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM · Report this
171
NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) is a legit nonprofit with a long history of advocacy work. Why would they publicize and take on a fictional case.
All of the story information is from the original NCLR link.
Posted by kwinbrooklyn on April 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM · Report this
172
http://bayarea.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04…

Has hit the NYTimes blog as well as a new other news sources.
Posted by Tealeaves on April 19, 2010 at 11:58 PM · Report this
174
I am all for equality, and am appalled at the thought of this story possibly being true. but the more i look and research it, the less i find that stands up to closer scrutiny.... does anyone have any links that look deeper? the whole thing sounds kind of suspicious, although, almost the same thing happened here in wisconsin to a couple I knew for a short time, luckily they had better friends, and supportive family, to fight for them, and all is well here...
Posted by Hawksinger on April 20, 2010 at 5:01 AM · Report this
Theshue 175
As a str8 advocate for equality for just about everyone, this is just sad.
Posted by Theshue on April 20, 2010 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Dingo 177
That would be North Bay Auctions, LLC.
Posted by Dingo on April 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM · Report this
178
@170 "[Th]is kind of horrible situation could happen" doesn't really capture the issue, unfortunately. Conservatorship fraud and elder abuse happens, and happens way too often. Even this article from 2009 barely touches about how frequently it happens: http://articles.latimes.com/2005/nov/13/…
Posted by nottelling on April 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM · Report this
sandyc954 180
To those expressing disbelief, requiring more links, solid information:
http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/…
(you may have to copy & paste to get the PDF, which has specifics of the case).
I am not too surprised, since I was struck with a bottle and homophobic epithets from a truckload of young men for lawfully holding a No on 8 sign in Windsor (Sonoma County).
I do feel that since Prop 8 was not supported in Sonoma County, there is some sort of acceptance, and I thank the voters here for that.
We know as youth comes into election process, these laws will be improved. This story shows we need laws to incorporate FULL EQUALITY into the laws and stop adding 2/3 majority for this and that. A simple majority voted to remove rights given by ELECTED legislators and court. (beware of Prop 16, which has nothing to do with right to vote, but preventing local elected officials from doing their jobs we elected them to do)
Domestic Partnership is a good start, was improved, but still NOT fully equal. My understanding is they DID have proper documentation to prevent this, but obviously their rights were violated.
Posted by sandyc954 on April 20, 2010 at 10:25 AM · Report this
sandyc954 181
http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/…
hope it works this time, if not the last part of it from original is:
Greene_v_Sonoma_County.pdf?docID=7461
Posted by sandyc954 on April 20, 2010 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Sloggy McGee 182
@11 exactly. I hope Greene wins. I hope this story and the outrage and backlash and attention becomes the catalyst for change.

Obama is already heading toward the right track: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36580493/

But the thing is, nothing can make it okay again. If my partner, my LOVE, was dying, and people kept him from me, kept me from him, kept me from comforting him and saying goodbye to him, I would never get over it. I would never forgive the world and my heart would break and I think I'd lose my mind from the hate and injustice of it all.

But since I have a vagina, and my partner has a penis, we would likely be treated compassionately and fairly.

This story made me well up with rage and want to punch something. The people of the world needs to stop being so irrationally fucking scared of and threatened by anyone slightly different than the normative majority. Goddamn it.
Posted by Sloggy McGee on April 20, 2010 at 12:23 PM · Report this
curtisp 183
This story is indeed alarming so I just called the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. They said that there were reports of domestic violence concerning the couple so the older man was taken out of the situation an put in a home. They say he was willing. The folks at the Stranger should call 707-565-2241 to get the other side of this story.
Posted by curtisp on April 20, 2010 at 2:18 PM · Report this
185
@183, if the board's allegation is true, the "other side of the story" would be Harold's side, and he's dead. This is suspiciously convenient for the defendants. Unless the county board has a history of police reports or other substantiating evidence to back up their allegation of domestic violence, it's hearsay.

I would love to have a full and truthful accounting of these events, and such a thing may someday come to light, but recirculating hearsay is not the same thing as getting the other side of the story.

This story is about Clay vs. the county (and the nursing home and the auction company), not Clay vs. Harold, and it's about how Clay's legal rights as Harold's 20+ year partner with advance medical directives and powers of attorney were disregarded in ways that would have been much more difficult for the county to do with a couple whose marriage was legally recognized as such, with or without complicating factors like allegations of domestic violence.

Apparently in the months the men were separated, before Harold's death, Harold compiled a scrapbook/photo album for Clay. That's not hard evidence against the possibility of an abusive relationship, but it's something to reconcile with the county's allegation. I'm sure the county would love nothing more than to turn this into a referendum on Clay and Harold's relationship, rather than a legal case in which they have to reckon for their disregard of Clay's legal and moral standing as Harold's executor and life partner.

It's very hard to imagine circumstances in which the county, nursing home and auction company might have done the right thing legally or ethically in this case. If evidence in favor of the defendants surfaces I'd like to see it, but without any evidence, I don't particularly care how they pretend to justify their actions.
More...
Posted by Meat Weapon on April 20, 2010 at 4:08 PM · Report this
curtisp 186
#184 - They often do care about the other side of the story. They fell short here but they provided links and I found out for myself. It is now posted below the article. You are free to go to the links provided and do a bit of your own research. They made it easy enough that it took me about five minutes. #185 - I repeated what was told to me by a representative from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors when I called them to object to the matter. The county is facing a possible lawsuit and what they said is their side of the story not hearsay. I never said they were right or wrong and that is quite clear in my post. Some close friends just spent $60,000 for a living will. If they could legally marry what they paid $60,000 for could be purchased for $50. I know full well what could happen, even with a living will, to a gay couple if one partner gets ill or dies. However, that does not change the fact that there is nothing wrong with presenting what the other side said in response to my protest.
Posted by curtisp on April 20, 2010 at 5:25 PM · Report this
187
@186, the allegations of abuse are presented in the plaintiff's claim, too, as the pretense under which the county sought conservatorship of Scull's estate.

It's an odd (and despicable) defense for them to take: maligning Greene's character with a charge that, even if absolutely true, in no way legitimates the actions of the county, the nursing homes or the auction company.

From what I've been able to discover, there seems to be no substance to the county's claim of abuse. It seems the paramedics who arrived on the scene suspected the possibility of abuse, but it was not substantiated or backed up by medical evidence, never reported to police, etc.

It looks more like the county ran with the abuse charge to dismiss Greene's legitimacy as heir and executor. At least that version of events aligns most closely with the universe I know. If that turns out to be false I'll accept a different version of events with adequate evidence. As it stands Greene's version of the story seems far more credible, and the county's defense doesn't begin to address how their counter charge legitimates their actions.
Posted by Meat Weapon on April 21, 2010 at 12:06 AM · Report this
189
Why do fascists always go after gays? Every time the government goes fascist they go after the gays, the poor, the liberal...Hitler and Mussolini did it and now here in the US. The good news is that fascist states always fail because a psychotic hatred is impossible to sustain, it eats away at you. Governments collapse and new ones form. Let's try to prepare our input so that everybody has equal rights and a couple is a couple. If they consider their relationship to be forever then who are we to tear them apart? Neo-Nazis is what we are. Remember this at the polls, assuming they continue to count votes.
Posted by WillShirley on April 21, 2010 at 4:07 AM · Report this
venomlash 191
@190: Source? Reference?
Posted by venomlash on April 21, 2010 at 12:40 PM · Report this
djx 193
@190 - The local Sonoma County paper, The Press Democrat, will soon be reporting that according to a statement released by the DA's office, no charges were filed due to insufficient evidence. The County knows they majorly screwed up and they are just grasping for straws.
Posted by djx on April 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Dingo 194
192: not a smart thing to do, and not a smart thing to post in a public forum.
Posted by Dingo on April 21, 2010 at 6:59 PM · Report this
195
Makes me so super glad that I live in Canada and will be marrying my Partner (yup - full legal and real honest to goodness gay marriage) next year. That this could happen to two men who were together so long is shocking, horrible and disgusting.
Posted by Cap'n Ranty on April 21, 2010 at 10:03 PM · Report this
198
Spaulding said the allegations of abuse is the real case. Greene, he said, attacked Scull and the county stepped in to protect the elder man at his own request.

In court documents, Spaulding said Scull was admitted to Kaiser hospital in Santa Rosa on April 27, 2008, as a result of domestic violence-related injuries inflicted by Greene. The case was reported to the Sheriff's Office, adult protective services and the county's public guardian, who all conducted investigations, he said.

Scull allegedly told officials he no longer wished to live with Greene, so he was placed in a nursing home. Greene was later deemed incapable of caring for himself and was sent to a different facility, Spaulding said.

The men were given a chance to remove possessions from their rented Sebastopol house, he said. What was left was sold at auction to cover their expenses, Spaulding said.

An investigative report from the Sheriff's Office that had the victim's name redacted appears to support some of the county's claims.

On the night Scull went to the hospital, Deputy Dylan Fong said he was dispatched to check on an 88-year-old man who was admitted after an assault.

The man, who had a black eye and multiple contusions and abrasions, told Fong that his partner, Greene, had struck his face and body with closed fists and told him, "I'm gonna kill you," the investigative report says.

Fong said he asked for more details but the man seemed confused or possibly on medication. Fong then photographed the injuries and asked the man if he wanted to press charges. The man said no.

"The victim refused and told me he just wanted to go home," Fong wrote.

Fong said he went to Greene's house to arrest him but Greene wasn't there. Deputies returned five days later to ask him about the incident and Deputy District Attorney Tashawn Sanders reviewed the case. According to a report from Deputy Dave Tait, Greene said he had a romantic relationship with the man about 10 years before and now the two were simply living together to share expenses. He said they were drinking Vodka and orange juice on the front porch when the man tripped and fell. An ambulance was called.

Greene denied assaulting or threatening the man, Tait said. Greene reaffirmed that position in an interview this week from his Guerneville home.

In a supplemental report, a social worker told deputies Greene had been abusive to the victim and should receive alcohol or drug treatment and a psychiatric evaluation. Tara Underly said Greene refused offers for help from Adult Protective Services.

The case is scheduled for trial in July.

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Arch…
More...
Posted by Sharon on April 23, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Report this
199
It's mind boggling to me that so many seemingly intelligent people are ready to jump on some bandwagon, just because it involves a gay person.
Posted by Sharon on April 23, 2010 at 1:46 PM · Report this
207
I look forward to finding out the outcome of this! Just so sad and I'm afraid that it happens much more than we think it does!

Thanks for passing this information on and bringing this to light!

Michael

http://www.outmaturity.com
Posted by Michael@outmaturity http://www.outmaturity.com on October 24, 2010 at 6:42 PM · Report this
sixpack6t9 208
This just happened to a straight couple in Portland Oregon. A fiduciary and her attorney took an almost half million dollar property from an elderly man while he was ill. Even after he recovered, she continued unabated. She took his and his room mates personal property and disposed of it as part of the estate of the elderly man's mother. I have documents showing the whole ugly incident and I will share with anyone who wishes to know the truth about this court appointed "guardian" and her attorney, and just how far they will go to shamelessly rob your elders---if someone like Adult Protective Services asks them to.

email me.
Ann Lambert sixpack6t9(at)yahoo(dot)com
Posted by sixpack6t9 on November 3, 2010 at 10:28 PM · Report this
sixpack6t9 209
This just happened to a straight couple in Portland Oregon. A fiduciary and her attorney took an almost half million dollar property from an elderly man while he was ill. Even after he recovered, she continued unabated. She took his and his room mates personal property and disposed of it as part of the estate of the elderly man's mother. I have documents showing the whole ugly incident and I will share with anyone who wishes to know the truth about this court appointed "guardian" and her attorney, and just how far they will go to shamelessly rob your elders---if someone like Adult Protective Services asks them to.

email me.
Ann Lambert sixpack6t9(at)yahoo(dot)com
Posted by sixpack6t9 on November 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM · Report this
210
@BABH:
So, what's your gain from mingling here with negative remarks about the victim? Who are you really? Who told you what to say? Because he has a court-appointed lawyer, he's automatically incompetent? Perhaps he has a court-appointed lawyer because he's BROKE as they state took EVERYTHING from him and SOLD IT to pay for his partner's medical bills, ya think?

You're an ignorant asshole with an obvious motive. Go to hell.
Posted by MXS on March 18, 2011 at 9:01 PM · Report this

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