August 13th, 2007
Patrick Atkins knew that his family was judgmental and unaccepting. And he knew that after 25 years together, Brett Conrad was the person he trusted to love, honor and cherish him. But he did not know that he would suffer a ruptured aneurysm on a business trip which would leave him mentally impaired at the age of 47.
And so, like many gay couples, Brett and Patrick did not prepare the extensive and often expensive legal documents that would have given each other the protection and control over their own lives. And now Patrick’s illness is a stark illustration of what can happen if legal protections are forgotten and family members are allowed to put their own biases above your happiness or care:
Conrad traveled to the Atlanta hospital to be with Atkins but was soon denied access by the family. Hospital staff defied the family’s wishes and let Conrad visit Atkins during off-hours.
Atkins eventually was moved to a nursing facility in Carmel, where Conrad would arrive after regular visiting hours so the Atkinses would not see him.
He filed his guardianship request in June 2005. That November, the Atkinses moved Patrick into their home and have since refused to let Conrad visit. They also have refused his phone calls.
It is inarguable that the Atkinses are cruel people. And their behavior cannot be justified. And, sadly, as long as gay couples are denied the easy remedy of marriage and instead are subjected to legal barriers and multiple forms, this story will repeat itself.
So each of us take a moment to ask ourselves if we trust those who have legal claim to us to honor and respect our lives. And if the answer is “no” then take the steps necessary to protect yourself from those who might believe that their dogma or bigotry can justify any level of cruelty.
(hat tip to reader David)
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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