For Clay and Harold, and the Promise of Equality

By now you probably have heard about NCLR’s latest case, a heartbreaking story about Clay Greene and Harold Scull, an elderly gay couple in Sonoma County, CA, who were kept apart when Harold was hospitalized in 2008. During the last weeks of Harold’s life, the county terminated Harold and Clay’s lease, removed Clay from his home, and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county also auctioned off all of their belongings. Clay grieved alone, away from his home, and stripped of all his possessions.

Clay is now represented by dedicated attorneys, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who are committed to seeking justice for Clay.

Join us and our friends at GetEqual in sending a letter to President Obama, asking him to fulfill the American promise of “liberty and justice for all.” The time has passed for us to be expected to watch our community endure such ongoing inhumanity.

Last Thursday, President Obama issued a directive to the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to same-sex partners. This was a step toward fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, but it falls short of his promises to fight for equality in marriage, the military, and employment.

As we push this week for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), which bans openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military, and for the passage of ENDA, which would protect LGBT people in the workplace, Harold and Clay’s story reminds us that there are no fractions of equality. President Obama’s memorandum last week is simply not enough. We expect and deserve to see real and sustained leadership on behalf of the full dignity and humanity of every member of our community.

Ask the President to call on Congress to act NOW to repeal DOMA and DADT and to pass ENDA, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

In Solidarity,

Kate Kendell, Esq.,
Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

Robin McGehee, Kip Williams, and the GetEQUAL crew

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