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Hospital Files Restraining Order, Arrests Man who Tried to Visit Husband's Bedside

Update Date: Apr 11, 2013 01:38 PM EDT
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In the midst of two Supreme Court cases on gay marriage, a case in Missouri highlights for advocates the necessity of gay marriage.

According to WDAF Kansas City, Roger Gorley and his partner Allen have been a civil union for five years. Though not legally married, the couple makes medical decisions for one another. They even have Power of Attorney for each other.

Despite these facts, when Gorley arrived at the bedside of his partner Allen in a hospital, a family member asked him to leave. When he refused to do so, a nurse called security on Gorley. Mr. Gorley says that the nurse did not even verify whether he had Power of Attorney with his partner, despite the fact that partner Allen had stayed at the hospital several times in the psychiatric unit. Instead, she chose to let security guards take him out in handcuffs.

To add insult to injury, the hospital, Research Medical Center, has filed a restraining order against Mr. Orley to prevent him from visiting his partner in the hospital during his stay there. Though they refused to comment directly to the media, they issued a statement on the matter.

In it, the hospital states, "We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. And, the patient's needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance." The hospital also adds that it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or race.

In 2010, President Obama required that any hospital that receives federal funding to extend visitation rights to same-sex couples. In this case, federal funding means money from Medicaid and Medicare, the Huffington Post reports. The mandate means that virtually all hospitals in the United States must extend visitation rights to same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on two cases regarding gay marriage by June. One case concerns the 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage at the federal level as an act between a man and a woman; the other pertains to California's Proposition 8, a 2008 voter referendum that added a ban on gay marriage to the state's Constitution.

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