Man arrested for trying to be with his husband in the hospital

Steven here…

Roger Gorley is not allowed to see his husband. This is because Missouri is one of the states that does not recognize the marriage rights of same-sex couples.

A Lee’s Summit man is fighting a restraining order that he says was issued against him after he says he was arrested for refusing to leave the bedside of his sick partner. Roger Gorley went to visit his partner, Allen at Research Medical Center, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., Tuesday afternoon. He says when he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave. When Gorley refused, he says hospital security forcibly removed him from the property and put him in handcuffs. “I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley said.

To all of the bigots out there:
This is the end result of the laws you push for. Because of these discriminatory laws, and the harmful attitudes that you have cultivated in society, this can still happen. This is your fault. You may not have been the one to put the cuffs on him or to call the police, but you are allowing this to happen.

Most of the anti-gay activists I’ve met fail to grasp why any of this matters to gay people and their loved ones. They think we should just be happy that we aren’t one of the countries that will (legally)kill you for being gay. Bullshit.

If someone dragged you away from your spouse in chains, you would not stand for it.

If you were beaten for who you love, you would not be silent.

If you had to deal with people trivializing your relationship with the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with you would be angry.

If you had to watch as the GOP tried to make it illegal for you to have sex with your partner, you would raise holy hell.

This is not just a difference of opinion. This is not something where we can agree to disagree, or respect your religious beliefs. This is about doing the right thing. If you do not come to embrace equality as so many others before you have, how will you explain robbing people of the same rights that you claim to cherish?

The good news for everyone else is that gay people are going to get the right to marry. Maybe not this month, or this year, but the hard work is paying off. The icing on the cake for those of us fighting your bigotry is that your children and grandchildren will be utterly perplexed about your opposition to civil rights. When you insist that your Bible commands you to hate gay people, we will watch as more and more people are pushed away from that wretched book and the laughable excuse for morality it extols. Or you could just treat gay people like human beings, that’s always an option too.

I write a lot of jokes. Some of them are in this book.
I also host the podcast of the Skepchick events team, Some Assembly Required, and cohost the WWJTD Podcast.
You can also follow me on Facebook or that bird thing.

  • Glodson

    Basically, if you think that gay people shouldn’t have all the legal rights and benefits afforded to straight people, you wrong and you have the belief of a bigot. You are excusing a prejudice that causes harm. You are going to look back and be ashamed of yourself. If you will end up with grandchildren, you will likely lie to them about your position on this matter in the future.

    • Art Vandelay

      Which person is worse:

      A) Doesn’t think gays should have equal rights and cites the bible in order to justify his bigotry while rejecting all of the other vile shit in the bible and simply uses religion to cowardly mask his bigotry as something virtuous rather than own just owning it.

      B) Believes that the bible is literally the infallible word of the creator of everything. Doesn’t really think anything about gay marriage because he thinks gays should be thrown in a hole and bludgeoned to death with rocks, along with apostates, shell fish enthusiasts, proponents of poly-cotton blends, unruly children, and menstruating women that enter churches. He is completely 100% convinced that his beliefs are virtuous and mandated by his creator.

      • Glodson

        B is worse.

        I can deal with normal bigotry. It is one thing to have hatred for people and believe they should be second class citizens while using mythology to back up this absurdity. It is another entirely to pay blind allegiance to a mythology and take commands from this literally, and seek to apply them to others, all while dismiss the harm it does.

        We can overcome bigotry, a personal experience can change the outlook of a bigot. It is much harder to adjust someone’s worldview that demands complete acquiescence to the myths of a bunch of bronze age shepherds. This person’s religion, and demand for obedience to said religion without thinking of the real harm done for the sake of it, is a part of who that person is. Changing that is harder. And following it will lead to more harm than just the causal bigotry of a buffoon who hasn’t thought past themselves.

        • Art Vandelay

          See, while B is maybe a bit of a psychopath, I have more respect for intellectual honesty. This watering down of Christianity is what keeps it alive. If you claim to adhere to the bible for your moral guidance as all Christians must, I think you absolutely should hate gays. You absolutely should be a creationist. You absolutely should hate non-Christians…so on and so forth. The only way that religion survives is by bending towards humanity but as long as it’s around, it’s still going to pervade humanity. I’d rather see everyone be completely honest about it and watch it choke itself with it’s own rope. Then all of this goes away and the bigots have nothing to hide behind. They stick out like sore thumbs and they certainly wouldn’t get to make decisions on how we direct society. I guess I’m looking at it on much more of a long-term macro level.

          • Drakk

            I think this ties in with (Hitchens? Harris? One of them I think) point that the problem with “moderate” believers is that they shield fundamentalists from criticism by insisting that we can’t criticise faith?

            I tend to agree. B is a worse person morally speaking, but much harder to take seriously and less likely to win favour from potential allies.

          • Sunny Day

            Giving respect to B is like respecting Harold Shipman for holding the door open for you.

      • Azkyroth

        …does it matter?

        • Glodson

          I guess not. Only matters if you are talking about the chance of changing one.

  • John Eberhard

    This story is about the father-in-law of Adam Brown at Atheism Resource. Take the time to give him a bit of support if you can. He has turned this story in to Huffpo, so it will hopefully get some traction. Nothing like public scrutiny to make hospitals check their hole card before raising into the pot.

  • Sarah

    It is just as bigoted to say that Christians or the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists) can’t believe the way they do. I am a Christian. I am also all for giving people their civil rights. I am appalled that family would take that man’s partner away like that. They should be ashamed of themselves. When you accuse others of bigotry, do not be one yourself.

    • Nate Frein

      (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists)

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      • Raymond

        Do not alienate someone who supports your opinion even if that person has other beliefs or opinions with which you do not agree.

        • Stogoe

          Assumes facts not in evidence.

        • AmyC

          If somebody would stop being an ally and become a bigot because I don’t agree with them about the Bible, then they were never an ally to begin with.

        • Nate Frein

          If she really supported gay rights, she wouldn’t be taking Steven to task for calling out this kind of nonsense.

          If she really supported gay rights, she’d realize that if she’s really as tolerant as she says she is, then none of what Steven has said here applies to her.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Historians and scientists have proven the Bible is historical? Please provide an example of a proven miracle from the Bible.

      Please also point where in this post Christians have been told they can’t believe as they wish. We mock Christians for believing silly things. We fight Christians who attempt to make others live according to your rules.

      If this is unacceptable, please compare and contrast Psalm 14:1

      “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt , they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good”

      We’re fools, corrupt, abominable, and do no good, but we’re the real bigots here.

      Please also tell us about Deuteronomy 17:2-5:

      “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.”

      Please explain to us how the instruction to stone people who worship other gods gives you the moral high ground when it comes to “atheists telling others what to believe”.

      • Art Vandelay

        then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.”

        Hey, thanks YHWH. We get “stone to death.” We weren’t going to use apples.

        What are the tags to put something in a block quote like that?

        • Nate Frein

          What are the tags to put something in a block quote like that?

          The tag is just “blockquote” and “/blockquote”.

          • Art Vandelay

            Almost makes too much sense.

        • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          blockquote tags. Not sure if the “cite” attribute works, I’ve never used it on here.

          • Nate Frein

            I’ve tried using them and it didn’t work.

            But that could easily be a problem on my end, not with the site. Usually if I’m concerned that the source of the blockquote won’t be obvious, I just include a link to the original post or page.

    • Glodson

      It is just as bigoted to say that Christians or the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists) can’t believe the way they do.

      Strawman. No one is saying you can’t have your bigoted religious beliefs. We are saying that you can’t enforce your bigoted religious beliefs onto others. Like this case. Don’t approve of the two men’s relationship? That’s your problem. You do not, however, get to decide the nature of their relationship. They decide that, and now one is being punished for the beliefs of others. It is absurd, and your notion of bigotry is deeply flawed.

      Now, for the scientific data: prove the Global Flood. Where did the water come from? Where did it go? How did it rain so quickly without drowning everyone from the pure saturation of water in the air? Why aren’t all the fish dead? What did Noah do with all the feces? What about the insects?

      How about the Israeli slaves in Egypt? When did they arrive? What evidence do we have for the entire people being enslaved there? How about Jericho? Evidence shows it was a small village with no indication of anything ever happening there? How about the age of the Earth? How old is it?

      Citations please.

      I am a Christian. I am also all for giving people their civil rights. I am appalled that family would take that man’s partner away like that. They should be ashamed of themselves. When you accuse others of bigotry, do not be one yourself.

      How is what we are saying bigoted? We are saying that allowing for civil rights is a good thing. We are saying that denying gay people these rights is bigotry.

      Want to know how many times Steven mentioned religion, god, or Christ in his original message? None. I replied, just talked about anti-gay bigots. I didn’t mention religion. One person asked if it was worse to believe the worst in a religion which is bigoted or to use the bigoted language of a religion to rationalize their own hatred.

      See, we know there’s a spectrum of believers. We know that some religious people are for gay rights. We know that some bigots aren’t religious. We were talking about bigotry and injustice. This bigotry and injustice is often rationalized by religion, but not always. It is telling that you made the leap that we must be hating on religion, or saying that Christians should be denied their own beliefs.

      The argument isn’t that bigotry based on the Bible should be illegal, it is that it should be illegal for one to force their religious beliefs onto others.

      • hotshoe

        Glodson -

        Want to know how many times Steven mentioned religion, god, or Christ in his original message? None.

        Umm, to be honest, Steve did mention “religious beliefs” and “your Bible”. And the OP is surely meant to be read as a rebuke to the christian Dominionists in the US who do indeed use their religion and their bibles as an excuse for their hateful attempts to make bigotry the law of the land.
        Where Sarah goes wrong is in her (typical of christians) “being mean to bigots is just as bad as bigotry” foolishness.
        No, Sarah, calling a person “racist” when he is performing racist acts is NOT the same kind of moral failing as the racist himself calling someone a “wetback” or a “towelhead”. No, Sarah, calling a homophobic family “bigots” when they are performing the bigotry of denying a spouse’s visitation rights is not the same kind of moral failing as the bigots themselves show.
        Sarah, remember what you learned on Sesame Street. One of these things is not like the others.

        • Glodson

          Damnit, I must have missed that.

          I have to retract that statement then. My other points still stand. As no one is calling for the persecution of religious people, just trying to end the persecution of gay people.

    • baal

      Thanks Sarah for your agreement that the family should not have been able to exclude the gay husband. If more christians supported that outcome, we’d be much less concerned that the Bible is cited to as fact. The usual problem for us is that we see cases like this and the folks holding the bibles are the same ones keeping the husband out of the hospital room. In that context, we then try to argue (and ridicule) the bible as a basis for keeping loving partners apart. We also argue that it comes off as a lack of compassion from the folks who put up the barriers.

    • Randomfactor

      Sarah, just how would someone go about forcing you not to believe? The worst that someone could do is stop you from hurting someone else because of those beliefs.

    • AmyC

      How does the Bible believe anything?

    • http://anthrozine.com Cubist

      sez sarah:

      It is just as bigoted to say that Christians or the Bible… can’t believe the way they do.

      So who, exactly, is saying that Xtians “can’t believe the way they do”? Answer: Nobody, that’s who. There’s a bunch of people who say that a good chunk of Xtian beliefs are false and stupid and dangerous, sure. Some of these people try to persuade Xtians not to hold false and stupid and dangerous beliefs, and so what? Xtians try to persuade people to adopt false and stupid and dangerous beliefs; other, saner, people try to persuade people to reject false and stupid and dangerous beliefs. Why is this a problem? Personally, I’d expect that most of these people would agree that Xtians shouldn’t ought to hold those false and stupid and dangerous beliefs. But do you really think there’s anyone who who denies that Xtians have the right to hold those false and stupid and dangerous beliefs?

      sez sarah:

      …the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists)…

      Some parts of the Bible have been proven true by historians and scientists, yes. Some parts. Some parts, but absolutely not the whole schmeer. And some other parts of the Bible have been proven false by scientists and historians, and still other parts of the Bible flatly contradict yet other parts of the Bible, so there are bits of the Bible which flatly <i.cannot be true, end of discussion. What’s your point (if any), Sarah?

      I am a Christian. I am also all for giving people their civil rights. I am appalled that family would take that man’s partner away like that. They should be ashamed of themselves.

      Remarkably enough, the people who took away that man’s civil rights aren’t ashamed. Rather, they think—they have Faith—that they are obeying the will of their invisible friend, who wants them to take away that man’s civil rights. What are you doing to persuade them that they’re wrong? Whining about anti-Xtian prejudice on an athiest blog certainly won’t persuade them that they’re wrong…

      When you accuse others of bigotry, do not be one yourself.

      Give me a fucking break, Sarah. When a plurality-to-majority of Xtians oppose civil rights for gays, calling Xtians out for their anti-gay stance is not ‘bigotry’. You don’t like to see Xtians called out for their Xtianity-derived prejudice and bigotry? Okay, you don’t like to see Xtians called out for their Xtianity-derived prejudice and bigotry. That doesn’t alter the fact that one high holy king-hell lot of Xtians just plain are prejudiced bigots whose prejudiced bigotry just plain does derive from their Xtian beliefs. Rather than whining about people who point out that there’s a lot of bigots who derive their bigotry from their Xtian beliefs, how about you start working on driving the goddamn bigotry from the hearts of your fellow Xtians? It’s not like bigoted Xtians are going to listen to anything us hellbound-heathen-unbelievers have to say, after all. Maybe they’ll listen to another Xtian such as yourself. Or maybe not, I dunno.

      It is just as bigoted to say that Christians or the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists) can’t believe the way they do. I am a Christian. I am also all for giving people their civil rights. I am appalled that family would take that man’s partner away like that. They should be ashamed of themselves. When you accuse others of bigotry, do not be one yourself.

    • Drakk

      >> the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists)

      Explain, please, how a rocky planet could form at the very beginning of the universe, long before there were any stars to fuse hydrogen into the heavier elements that would be necessary to form a rocky planet.

  • Azkyroth

    It is just as bigoted to say that Christians or the Bible (which by the way is an historical record- yes this has been proven by historians and scientists) can’t believe the way they do.

    Point the first: whatever grammar did to you, I’m sure it’s sorry.

    Point the second: of my attempts at translating this, I come up with the following:

    -You’re under the impression that atheists want to outlaw Christian affiliation or practice
    -You’re under the impression that it’s bigoted to tell someone they’re mistaken

    Both being idiotic, I can’t decide which is more charitable to attribute to you. Help me out here? Or had you thought that far ahead?

    • baal

      She’s saying that we shouldn’t blame the lack of compassion on christianity’s doorstep and that the blame is on the persons involved.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        That makes sense. I still categorically reject that argument, but it makes sense as an argument.

        After all, if a whole lot of bigots all point to the same thing as a symbol for their bigotry, maybe that thing has some problems? Even if other people who really like that thing aren’t bigots, they should feel a little uneasy about being associated with the bigots because of their mutual like of that thing. Perhaps, just perhaps, they could even acknowledge that the thing they really like does seem to justify the bigots too, and is thus problematic in and of itself.

        I’m talking about confederate flags being part of several state flags, of course. What did you think I was talking about?

        • baal

          I don’t agree either but honor that She’s trying. Would that Sarah gave up the fetters the bibly and following church teachings put on her good instincts to be moral.

      • Azkyroth

        How do you get that from what she posted?

        • baal

          I was being charitable and have daily practice with folks who use English as a second language.

      • hotshoe

        Yeah, I see that Sarah in her incoherent way was probably trying to say something like “don’t be prejudiced against Christianity because it’s not Christianity that’s to blame for that family’s bigotry”.

        Problem is, she’s wrong.

        I don’t know for certain that specific family in the hospital self-identify as christian nor that they use their bible-beliefs as a justification for their homophobic bigotry. However, we all know that homophobic bigotry would barely exist at all if it were not constantly incited by the bible-thumping mega-preachers and their fawning political candidates. There has never been a non-religious justification for homophobia. Where we see wide-spread homophobia, we can be sure that religion has poisoned their general culture even if some specific bigot doesn’t happen to identify as religious.

        It’s not every flavor of Christianity that’s to blame (and plenty of individual christian people are decent folks) but it certainly is most flavors of Christianity that preach against gays, and it’s not acceptable to tippytoe around that fact merely in hopes of not offending some of the decent christians.

        One of whom is apparently Sarah herself. Congratulations, Sarah, you’re a decent person. Now if only you could give up pretending that your fellow christians are motivated only by the good in your pet Jesus rather than what is clearly true in the real world: that most of your fellow christians are motivated by the vicious side of religion.

        We should be prejudiced against Christianity until christians themselves can cleanse their ranks of the haters and vicious dogma. If they can get it down to an irrelevant tiny minority, then I can stop being prejudiced against Christianity for the harm it does.

  • Michaelyn

    This is why beliefs matter! Live and let live? No. Because their beliefs result in their actions, and those actions affect the laws that in tun affect us all.
    So much rage.

  • Loqi

    A friend posted this story on Facebook. In order to reduce my keystroke emissions, I’ll just copy it and plop it here.
    What the fucking fuck? Ok hospital administrators, we get it, you think gay marriage is yucky and you don’t want to recognize it. Can you at least recognize that they’re still people? Can you recognize the fact that they *want* to get married implies that they want each other to have hospital visitation rights? You know one wants to be there. You know the other wants him to be there. You know you won’t get in trouble for allowing him to stay even if he doesn’t have the correct paperwork. So where’s the problem? I get that your fucked up beliefs involve preventing them from getting married because of some purity fetish. But I simply cannot fathom how your conscience can allow you to separate people from their loved ones in their time of greatest need. It is literally beyond my ken.

    • Loqi

      Gah, too few keystrokes. Meant to say “A friend posted this story on Facebook and I left a little rant about it.”

  • Keith Erick Fix

    I call BS.

    From the hospital:

    “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.”


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