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What Actually Happened To That Same-Sex Couple In The Missouri Hospital [UPDATED]

By Zack Ford  

"What Actually Happened To That Same-Sex Couple In The Missouri Hospital [UPDATED]"

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There has been a lot of speculation as to what actually transpired when Roger Gorley was arrested away from his husband Allen’s bedside in a Missouri hospital earlier this week. Despite the fact Roger and Allen have granted each other power of attorney for medical decisions, the Research Medical Center claimed that Roger was “disruptive and belligerent,” arguing that is why the police arrested him and removed him from the facility.

Now, Roger’s daughter Amanda has shared a detailed account of what transpired that paints a picture even more offensive than many may have imagined. The full account can be read here as well as some additional details she shared in an interview with blogger John Aravosis. Here is a breakdown of the family’s circumstances and what transpired in that hospital room according to Amanda:

The Couple’s Background

  • Allen suffers from severe depression and is currently undergoing electro-shock treatment (ECT) twice a month because his medications are no longer allowing him to function normally.
  • Allen has specifically excluded his family from having any say over his medical decisions because they have not been understanding of the impact of his depression.
  • Not only have Roger and Allen granted each other power of attorney, but they are known throughout the hospital as a proud gay couple because they are regularly there for Allen’s treatments.
  • Allen’s family has not been supportive of his relationship with Roger.

How Allen Was Admitted On Tuesday

  • Amanda was taking care of Allen while Roger was at work at Tuesday, but when they returned home from a few errands, Allen’s brother Lee and sister Pat were waiting at the door with paramedics and police.
  • Due to Allen’s sluggish state, the police determined he was a “danger to himself” and decided to take him to the hospital against his will. Rather than taking him to St. Luke’s Hospital in Lee’s Summit, the local hospital where his regular doctors are, they took him to the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, which he only goes to for his ECT. They ignored Amanda’s attempts to explain Allen’s medical needs and procedures.
  • Amanda called her father, Roger, and urged him to get to Allen’s side immediately. When he arrived at the hospital, Lee was also there.

The Family Confrontation

  • Lee asserted that he was not going to allow Roger to make decisions for Allen and that he would instead. This enraged Roger, who replied, “No you won’t! This is my husband.  I know what he wants and needs. You are never around.  You need to leave.”
  • The nurse informed Roger that because of his agitated state, he needed to leave. When he explained that he intended to stay with his husband, she replied, “I know who you two are. You need to leave.” Refusing to acknowledge their legal relationship, she called the police to have Roger forcibly removed.
  • Allen, who was in and out of consciousness, objected as he was able, saying, “I want him here.”
  • A follow-up story from Fox 4 suggests that Roger and Lee were having a loud fight, but doesn’t otherwise contradict this account.

The Violent Arrest

  • The Kansas City police ordered Roger to leave, and when he did not comply, they considered this a refusal to cooperate and began to forcibly remove him. When Roger refused to let go of the gurney’s railing, an officer began karate chopping his wrists to get him to release.
  • The police then wrestled Roger to ground, knocking his glasses off his face, his hearing aids out of his ears, and nearly breaking his wrist in the process. They put a knee to his back and wrenched his wrists around to arrest him. They changed his handcuffs four different times.
  • The police assumed because Roger is gay that he must have HIV. The brutal struggle had drawn blood, and one officer was so disturbed that he insisted on using gloves to handle Roger and refused to even take back his handcuffs.

The Aftermath

  • It took three hours to process Roger at the station and bail him out of jail.
  • He was fined $600 for disorderly conduct and trespassing. Fox4 confirmed this from a police report.
  • According to Amanda’s account, he was also issued a restraining order prohibiting him from stepping foot on the hospital grounds to see his husband.
  • Later, the hospital finally asked Lee to leave as well, at Allen’s request.

The hospital’s statement on Thursday claimed that there was no restraining order, and according to Amanda’s last update, this was the first information indicating Roger could see Allen again since his arrest on Tuesday. Aravosis confirms via Amanda that the hospital did allow Roger back in to see his husband Thursday night, but only after he “showed up and threw a fit.” She says her family is considering its options and has been talking with the local ACLU as they plan a response. Federal officials are similarly gathering evidence and intent to respond “in a speedy manner.”

With these details, both the hospital’s and police’s actions seem more suspect, not less. At the foundation of the story remains the fact that Roger and Allen’s relationship was treated as inferior. Because they did not have a state-recognized marriage, they were regarded as legal strangers despite even having set up the available legal protections for each other. Roger, in turn, was subjected not just to discrimination but police brutality and legal consequences. This tragic story speaks volumes about the consequences of continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and how they continue to be treated as second-class citizens. Notably, not one conservative organization has mentioned this story since it broke.

Update

NBC41 caught up with both Roger and Lee, Allen’s brother. Lee basically admitted that he intentionally tried to intervene in Allen’s medical care and also insisted that Roger should have been the one to leave the hospital room, even though he’s the one with Allen’s power of attorney. Nothing in this interview contradicts Amanda Brown’s account of the incident, and it remains unclear why Lee called 911 to have Allen admitted in the first place. Watch the interview:

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