A former employee of the Missouri hospital accused of having a gay man arrested and allowing him to be beaten while removing him from his husband’s bedside used homophobic language to defend the facility’s decision online, Americablog reported on Friday.
Screenshots captured by Americablog show Paula Grant, a former employee at Research Medical Center, saying in a comment thread on WDAF-TV’s Facebook page that the hospital was not discriminating against Roger Gorley and his partner Allen Mansell.
“I worked at Research Medical for years and I know the security guys,” Grant wrote on Thursday night. “They follow strict guidelines, male or female, family or not, if you are causing a scene you will be removed. There are other patients, employees and visitors. It makes news because of the f*gs.”
Americablog reported that Grant’s profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook confirm that she used to work at Research Medical, and now works at another subsidiary of its parent company, Hospital Corporation of America.
When another commenter criticized Grant’s use of the slur, Grant replied, “I can speak how I want when I’m away from my job. Doesn’t mean the employees are all standing around and discriminating. Remember free speech? Good night.”
Neither post was on the thread as of 7:25 p.m. EST.
According to Gorley’s daughter, the hospital had him removed from Mansell’s room on April 9, despite his pointing out to hospital staff that he had power of attorney over his partner’s health decisions, in accordance with a 2010 mandate by President Barack Obama that allowed visitation rights for partners in gay and lesbian couples.
Mansell, who suffers from severe depression, was hospitalized after he became “sluggish and intermittently responsive” at the couple’s home. However, Gorley’s daughter said, Mansell’s brother attempted to claim those rights.
“This is my husband. I know what he wants and needs,” Gorley told the brother, Lee Mansell. “You are never around. You need to leave.”
When Gorley told a nurse that he was Allen Mansell’s next of kin as she attempted to get him to leave the room, she allegedly replied, “I know who you two are. You need to leave,” then called police when Gorley grabbed the rail on his partner’s bed while refusing the order.
At that point, Gorley’s daughter said, the nurse called police, who allegedly beat on him and threw him to the floor, leaving him bloody and battered with a badly bruised wrist before being taken to jail.
The hospital denied its actions were discriminatory, saying in a statement, “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.”
Raw Story Editor David Ferguson contributed to this report
[Image via WDAF-TV]