A gay man was arrested this week at a Missouri hospital after refusing to the leave bedside of his sick partner.
Roger Gorley went to Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday to visit Allen, his partner of five years. But when he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave, according to Kansas City Fox station WDAF. When Gorley refused, hospital security allegedly handcuffed him and forcefully removed him from the premises. Now he cannot visit Allen at all because of a restraining order filed against him.
“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley told WDAF, adding that the nurse on duty refused to verify their joint Power of Attorney status. “She didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it. He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”
A spokesperson for Research Medical Center was not immediately available to give The Huffington Post a comment.
Back in 2010, President Barack Obama ordered all hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments to allow patients to determine who has visitation rights and who can make medical decisions. This right, extended to gay and lesbian partners, is supposed to give designated persons the same rights as immediate family members.
Obama said the new memorandum should “guarantee that all patients’ advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected,” and that designated persons should be able to “make informed decisions regarding patients’ care.”
Despite this, discrimination continues.
Last July, Paul Zilber claimed he was discriminated against at Saint Barnabas Behavioral Health Center in Toms River, N.J. Zilber went to visit his fiance — who was receiving mental health treatment for what appeared to be a suicide attempt — when he was reportedly called “inappropriate” for kissing his partner goodbye and removed from the visitation list, he told Care2. He later filed a complaint over the alleged harassment.
UPDATE: 4/11 3:14 p.m. — Research Medical Center responded to the allegations in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon.
This was an issue of disruptive and belligerent behavior by the visitor that affected patient care. The hospital’s response followed the same policies that would apply to any individual engaged in this behavior in a patient care setting and was not in any way related to the patient’s or the visitor’s sexual orientation or marital status. This visitor created a barrier for us to care for the patient. Attempts were made to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to involve security and the Kansas City MO Police Department.
The hospital also denies it ever filed a restraining order against Gorley.