A gay man was arrested at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri because he refused to leave his partner.
A family member asked Roger Gorley to leave his partner Allen's bedside during a visit. When Gorley refused, he was handcuffed and escorted from the building. There's now a restraining order preventing him from visiting at all."I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn't recognized as being the partner," Gorley told Fox4.
The two men have been in a civil union for 5 years and Gorley has power of attorney to deal with his partner's affairs, but that doesn't give him visitation rights. However the law may be on Gorley's side. In 2010 Obama ordered hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding to offer full visitation rights to gay partners.
Update: Since the story broke, Fox4 has obtained documents that tell a different story. The arrest report reveals that "a security supervisor at Research Medical Center was contacted by Emergency Room personnel after Gorley refused to leave the room of his partner. The hospital said they did not want to have any visitors to Allen's room. ...'After several verbal attempts to get [Gorley] to leave the room, he continually refused and began to cause a disturbance. [He] began to cause a disturbance by physically resisting security officers as they escorted him out of the patient's room.'"
Research Medical Center released two statements defending its actions:
Research Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in Kansas City to offer domestic partner benefits, which have been in place since 2005, and we have had a policy specifically acknowledging domestic partners' visitation rights in place for years.
This was an issue of disruptive and belligerent behavior by the visitor that affected patient care. The hospital's response followed the same policies that would apply to any individual engaged in this behavior in a patient care setting and was not in any way related to the patient's or the visitor's sexual orientation or marital status. This visitor created a barrier for us to care for the patient. Attempts were made to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to involve security and the Kansas City MO Police Department.