In Sonoma County, California, there lived an elderly couple who just happened to be a pair of gay men. They'd been together for 20 years. Clay was 77. Harold was 88. A nice retired couple enjoying a quiet life together in their golden years. They had all their paperwork, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and all that in place, so they could take care of each other when the time came.
And then the time came. Harold got injured from a fall. And placed in a nursing home. That part is normal.
What is NOT normal is that Clay, his loving partner in all things, was PREVENTED from even SEEING Harold. Completely prevented.
In fact, the county went a step further and forcibly removed Clay from his home while he was still healthy and capable, and confined him to a nursing home. A SEPARATE nursing home.
Three months later, Harold died. Clay never got to see him.
And all of their belongings? The county auctioned them off. Terminated their lease on their home. Left Clay with nothing.
All the details can be found HERE. Read it. Read the court documents. It'll infuriate you.
In this nation, the only minority that can still LEGALLY be discriminated against are GLBT folks. Yes, discrimination still happens to other minorities, and it's always ALWAYS wrong, but if someone discriminates against you for your race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other demographic status, there's legal recourse for you, because that discrimination is illegal. And straight couples are allowed to marry and create families that aren't ripped apart by the government, by hospitals, or by other powers that be, regardless of their race or religion. But gay folks... are still legally second-class citizens. In this country, in most places, it's LEGAL for a company to fire you (or refuse to hire you) if they find out that you're gay. You can be kicked out of your rental apartment or house if your landlord discovers that you're gay. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
It's too late for Harold and Clay. It's not too late for the rest of us. Speak up, act out, and don't stop until we have true equal rights for all citizens.
If that story infuriated you, as it should, please post this story on your LJ. People need to know this side of the story. They need to see that this is also the face of discrimination against gays. Gay or straight, we'll all be old and grey someday. When you're in those shoes (with orthopedic supports and all), imagine what it would be like to be forcibly separated from your spouse or partner like that. We human beings need to be better to each other, and this is only one reason why. But then, if you read that story and it didn't make you angry, just defriend me now.