Harold And Clay: This Is Why We Must Have Marriage Equality

Harold Scull and Clay Greene

Harold Scull and Clay Greene

For twenty minutes, when I first read about this on Monday, I could not stop sobbing; even now as I write, my eyes can’t help but water a bit and I have a knot in my gut.  … I’ll briefly explain why the story of Harold Scull and Clay Greene affects me the way it does.

I have lost two partners … two Great Men.  Jack (d. 1992) and Tommy (d. 2004).  I took leave from work both times to care for them and I never left their sides.  I was there to hold their hands as they took that last breath.  I cannot imagine the anguish that Mr. Greene felt, forcefully separated from Harold as he lay dying.  I am shaking mad … how could those monsters conspire to do such horribly hateful and evil deeds?  This is why my heart hurts for Clay Greene.  Jack’s family always treated me as one of their very own; every wish he had was honored after his passing.

Tommy’s family was another story.  When he died, all of his wishes, all of his directives died with him.  Our money was in each of our accounts; money we made and saved together — taken stealthily by his devout Catholic family.  Tommy was diagnosed with fully metastasized malignant melanoma.  He got so sick, so fast; the cancer was so aggressive that we never had time to draw up any legal papers, just verbal instructions and his assured trust in his family.  Besides, this was not supposed to happen!  We were planning for 40 years together … we made it to number six …Tommy was only 39.  Had we been able to marry, the theft of our money would not have happened.  They even wanted to come into our home (which was, fortunately, in my name only) and just take whatever they wanted.  I did not allow it.


It is a travesty what happed to Harold and Clay, and it shows the glaring reality of why Marriage Equality is needed NOW. (I posted about another incident in Florida, where a Lesbian couple were forcefully separated by hospital staff while one of the women lay dying.)

This story needs to be shoved in the faces of right-wangers who claim that the current legal instruments are sufficient to give anyone rights, and that no kind of marriage is needed.  Power of Attorney, care directives, wills, etc. … NONE of that matters one goddamn bit to public or private employees who decide on a whim that their religion disapproves of someone because they’re not the right kind of couple.

Harold and Clay had been a couple for 25 years.  Harold, 88, the elder of the couple, had taken a fall at their home.  He was taken to the hospital, and that is where the despicable events started.  Sonoma County employees then conspired, and succeeded, in a) isolating H and C from each other b) preventing contact to the outside c) falsely imprisoned them d)falsely declaring them mentally deficient, coercing them to sign over Conservatorship and e)taking possession of all of their property.

I’ve read the entire PDF of the suit filed by Clay Greene.  It is heartbreaking.  It is infuriating.  They even openly ridiculed Clay’s grief, mourning for another man — homos. “faggots”, they were called.  Clay and Harold never got to say goodbye.  Clay was not allowed to be there when Harold died, and he wasn’t even notified until days after; they would not even let a close friend stay and comfort Clay.  These people are sociopathic monsters.

PLEASE READ the source links in the next paragraph.  READ and PLEASE PASS  the story of Harold and Clay around.  Blog it, Tweet it, talk about it.  CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.  NOTHING LESS than FULL EQUALITY is acceptable.

BIGOTS do not care how devoted, or how many years long your partnership is.

BIGOTS do not care how many advance directives you make.

BIGOTS do not care how many wills or how many powers of attorney you have.

Source links: .. SLOG “Depressing, but required, reading” .. Out For Justice “NCLR Launches Visibility Campaign to Expose Tragic Case Where Somoma County Separated Elderly Gay Couple, Sold Off All Belongings” ..  ..

More will be coming out in the news about this.

UPDATE (4/30/2010): Longtime friend of H & C, Jannette Biggerstaff, spoke out against the County’s accusations of abuse in a letter to the editor in a Santa Rosa paper.


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