Monday, April 19, 2010

Case No. SPR-81815

This is the case number of my latest/most justified source of outrage. I'm also a tiny bit in hate with Charles Barkley right now, but we must pick our battles, and I don't think I could take Chuck. Actually, this makes me so angry that I don't even think I can make jokes. So I will have to explain what is going on here with bullet points and question words.

Who: Clay Greene vs. Sonoma County et al.
What: Embroiled in despicable legal battle of an inconceivable nature, which you will shortly discover
Where: Sonoma County, California.
When: April, 2008 - today
Why: Because there is evil in the world. Even in stupid sunny California.

Now, I did not actually set out to be a champion of LGBT rights, but come on people. This is getting seriously out of hand. Ok, I am going to try to power through this without hyperventilating, and/or too many unnecessary all-caps pontifications.

  • Clay and Harold live together as partners for 20+ years
  • Clay and Harold know they're getting on in years, and name each other as beneficiaries in their respective estates and assign each other as an agent in medical decisions
  • April, 2008: Harold, 88 (not in great health to begin with), slips and falls on front steps 
  • Clay calls an ambulance and Harold is taken to hospital

  • The men's agreement is COMPLETELY IGNORED by the County
  • County refers to Clay as a "roommate" and treats Howard in the hospital as though he has no family, revoking his powers of attorney
  • County liquidates an investment account to pay for medical expenses
  • 3 months after initial hospitalization, Harold passes away HAVING NOT SEEN CLAY EVER AGAIN
  • Clay now has nothing left of his life with Harold, and has been unable to recover any of their possessions, including pets who are most likely dead too

Clay is suing the following people/entities: A few specific members of the Sonoma County Government, including the Director of the Human Services Department, the Public Guardian/Conservator, and several Deputy Public Guardians; North Bay Auctions, LLC - the auction company that STOLE 20 years worth of belongings, some of which were actually quite valuable; and Agua Caliente Villa, the nursing home gulag where Clay was held AGAINST HIS WILL.

I went ahead and did some detective work, and you can read all about this so-called "assisted-living community." Purportedly, Agua Caliente Villa meets "the needs and desires of our residents by dispensing in balanced measure activities, freedom, solitude, companionship, choices... and love. Our singular goal is to provide a home environment for people who need more care than they or their families can give them." You can go here and check out their information page for "residents" prisoners. 

Directly beneath the words "Residents Rights" is the following paragraph (all typos are certainly not mine): "Agua Caliente Villa provides care to all with the utmost concern for the dignity and personal independence for every resident. Realizing each resident is unique, it is out goal to provide supportive care which enables everyone living in the facility to enjoy life to the greatest extent possible. Should there ever be an incidence of verbal or physical abuse of any kind, you are encouraged to report it immediately to a staff member or the administrator. Every staff member pledges to uphold resident rights which include at a minimum the rights listed here. "

If you click on the link (which I conveniently transported to my blog from their unedited website), you are lead to a list where Number 6 refers to the RIGHT TO LEAVE THE FACILITY AT ANY TIME.

There is CLEARLY A LOT MORE THAT I COULD SAY HERE but like I said, the anger is getting a little too palpable. I have no words for this. It's abominable, despicable, appalling, shocking, vile, horrifying, contemptible, straight-up criminal and completely unimaginable. Ok so I have some words. 

Since there isn't really anything anyone can do to make life any better for Clay at this point, the NCLR has launched a visibility campaign to get the word out. So get the word out. Tell people how this is the opposite of human. And that it is SO SO SO WRONG. I'm babbling now due to rage-induced delirium. If I ever find myself in this particular part of the world, I will be throwing lots of rocks. Especially if I've just gone wine tasting. There better be enough friggin' rocks.

**If you need to vent somewhere slightly more visible, go here**

4/20/10 UPDATE

The Sonoma County newspaper finally ran a story about this today. The headline reads "Lawsuit ignites firestorm in gay community against Sonoma County." Even this title makes me mad - I wish we could create an actual firestorm. Flames! Grrr! I'm thinking this particular firestorm would involve much more than just the "gay community."

Anyway, the county is saying that the two men were kept apart due to a domestic violence incident, not intolerant, inhuman maliciousness. Now, is it just me, or do people not call the police when an incident like that happens? If Clay assaulted Harold so badly that he was never able to be released from the hospital and passed away after 3 months, why did no one call the police? Because it's bullshit, that's why. The 3 page article has these 3 sentences to say about the so-called firestorm (once again, the typos are not mine - does no one proofread anymore?): 

"Outrage spilled onto a Facebook page advocating justice for the couple. Organizers urged people to write legislators and news sources. Other vented about the handling by Sonoma County officials or called for a boycott of all local businesses."

The rest of the article is basically about the county's defense strategy, which apparently is to lie.

1 comment:

Eva said...

Here is a trailer clip for a film coming out in Boston on May 8.

'Gen Silent' is a documentary
about elderly GLBTQ individuals who are essentially forced to go BACK into the closet in order to receive care in their old age.

Beautiful film. Terrible reality.