The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat has taken notice of the internet uproar over the treatment of gay elders Harold Scull and Clay Greene, with a brief summary of reaction on FaceBook appended to their article from earlier this week.
Outrage spilled onto a Facebook page advocating justice for the couple. Organizers urged people to write legislators, TV stations and newspapers. Others vented about the handling by Sonoma County officials or called for a boycott of all local businesses.
“I lived a horrid, short year in Satan Rosa,” posted Kristin Windju. “They are definitely not exactly welcoming to our community.”
Another Facebook commenter, Patrick McRae, said he and his partner would vacation elsewhere this year. “I will not be purchasing wine, dairy products or other goods produced in Sonoma County,” McRae said.
Others said the case is an example of why gay people should have the right to get married.
“This horrific case simply underlines the point that gay people need and deserve marriage — 100 percent equal rights under the law,” David Hoffman wrote. “No exceptions, no exclusions, no excuses.”
Local gay marriage advocates said the case is an example of what can happen to long-term couples who don’t have the protections under the law that heterosexual couples enjoy.
Bill Gardner of the Sonoma County chapter of Marriage Equality USA, said equal treatment can become an issue despite the state’s domestic partnership laws. Gay partners continue to report they have been prevented from visiting a loved one in the hospital or are otherwise denied rights normally given to spouses.
“We spend decades together and denied those last crucial moments, holding their hand in a hospital,” Gardner said. “So, we’re not only discriminated against in marriage and housing but at the time of death. It’s a tragedy.”
Earlier FDL Coverage