A gay man says he was escorted out of a hospital where his sick partner is being treated after he refused to leave his lover’s side. Roger Gorley is claiming that, in addition to being taken out in handcuffs, he is now forbidden from visiting his partner, with whom he has been in a civil union for the past five years.
The incident, according to Gawker, unfolded at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, where Gorley claims a nurse refused to acknowledge that he and his partner, Allen, are joint powers of attorney and handle one another’s medical needs. However, the two are not recognized as being married under Missouri law.
“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley told WDAF-TV. “[The nurse] didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it. He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”
The incident apparently unfolded when Gorley arrived at the hospital and a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave. After he refused, he was forcibly removed.
In a statement, Research Medical Center said that it does not discriminate based on sexual orientation or race, claims that some critics, namely Gorley, might reject. In a statement, the hospital said:
We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. And, the patient’s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.
It is certainly possible that the hospital discriminated, but the decision may have been, as the release says, more rooted in a disruption that allegedly unfolded once Gorley arrived at the hospital. With few details to go on, it’s difficult to definitively discern.
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