Sonoma County CA separates elderly gay couple

Reproduced (with edits) from this article at The Bilerico Project.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. County and health care workers refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital and ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

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.

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.

Clay is filing a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home.

Please sign this petition to the local paper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, to print their story.
The monumental unjustness that the Sonoma County officials forced upon this elderly couple needs to be brought into the public's awareness. Please print their story.

Thank you.
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