When Power of Attorney Ain’t Enough

| April 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

I have a friend who argued with me once that gays shouldn’t be afforded marriage or marriage rights without calling it something else, such as a civil union, even though that would potentially violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “Don’t call it marriage.” I explained that there are many rights to which married couples have access today that gay couples don’t get.

“Gays used to hire attorneys to get those rights. It only costs $500-$600 to get Power of Attorney. That’s all they need.” Well, let’s read about it here, and get back to me on that.

Roger Gorley and his partner Allen

Roger Gorley’s Power of Attorney over his partner Allen didn’t even come into question or get verified before one of Allen’s family members objected to Gorley being at Allen’s bedside and security came and removed Gorley from Allen’s room. Now, even though Gorley has Power of Attorney over Allen (and vice versa), Gorley isn’t allowed to see Allen in the hospital and Gorley also was slapped with a restraining order preventing him from even coming close to Allen in the hospital.

There is a missing element to this story. I want to hear the family’s side of this. I want to know why they didn’t want Gorley there and why they requested a restraining order for Allen when Gorley is the one who has the legal say-so for anything pertaining to Allen, not Allen’s family members. Any excuse apart from “Roger Gorley is an abusive jerk who is the one responsible for Allen being in the hospital” will not suffice. If it’s because the family member doesn’t like that Allen is gay or anything at all connected to the sexuality of the two men involved, I’ll want to aim a North Korean missile armed with a nuclear warhead at that family member.

The larger problem with this is the Power of Attorney document. Why was that document never ever brought up? Why didn’t the nurse check into it? (Is she also not a fan of the gays? Isn’t it her job to verify stuff like that?) Sadly, we’re in an age where people have to prove who they are if they don’t fit a preconceived mold or notion of who is appropriate for them to be attached to. If Allen had a woman there he’d just met two days ago and got married to, there wouldn’t be a problem, EVEN IF THE FAMILY HAD RESERVATIONS ABOUT HIM BEING MARRIED SO SOON TO SOMEONE HE DIDN’T KNOW.

Did the nurse verify that it was a legitimate family member? Even if Gorley was a family member under the bonds of a civil union, I think the nurse would have acted in the same way. Civil unions aren’t marriage, so technically it could be argued that they aren’t legally family because it’s not a marriage. This gives more defense to the argument that gays have to be married if they are to prove that they legally have a family. Straight people enjoy that luxury today and many have families that are in shambles compared to some gay couples who have made up their own families for years.

So, to answer my friend who says that legal coverage as in Power of Attorney is enough, it obviously isn’t enough. That document was never checked and now there is a restraining order against the person who has signature authority for anything that his partner wants or needs while he lays there incapacitated. And since the family member got Gorley removed from the hospital and a restraining order enacted, I’m sure it won’t take much to remove that Power of Attorney from him and have it placed with the family member, which may not be what Allen wants.

But since when have you straight people who have such caustic attitudes toward gay rights ever given a damn about gay people? I’ll wait.


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Category: Gay, Politics

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