Gay? No Civil Rights For You. (Have a Problem With That?)

The story of how elderly gay couple, Clay and Harold, were treated by the County of Sonoma in California could shock even the most homophobic. Using every legal protection available to them wasn’t enough to protect them from being separated at the end of Harold’s life. Clay was forcibly removed from his home, put in a nursing home against his will; all of his possessions were taken by the county and sold at auction. The only thing he has left from his life with Harold is a scrap book. The information is preliminary, assuming these facts are correct, we have a major problem on our hands in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County has long been the place where people “get it.” We don’t tolerate fag-haters or bigots here. Yet, our newspaper, The Press Democrat, has turned a blind eye to the story.

According to Supervisor Paul Kelley the Sonoma County Supervisors asked for staff to review the case on Friday. Mike McGuire, Supervisorial Candidate for the 4th District said of the story, “I am very glad that County staff is looking into this issue. Look forward to seeing answers quickly because this is a huge injustice and should never take place.”

There are no proposed changes of policy; no heads of departments have been called to task publically. As of now, According to Paul Kelley, not even the supervisors know which agency is responsible.

Let’s prove we are the place where gay people are safe to come, live and die happily with the full and complete expectation of equality. If we sit idly by and allow citizens in our county to be removed from their home, have their possessions taken away and separated from their loved ones, we have no business calling ourselves enlightened or tolerant. If faced with such a horror, such a complete injustice and we do nothing, we are
as bad as the people who performed the act.

The county agencies work in our name, as representatives of us. We did this, we. We can’t hide our responsibility, this is our responsibility. I will not let this stand. This is my county, my representatives, and no government agency whose office is within a half an hour drive from my home will get off scott-free for doing such things in my name. Oh no. This is completely and utterly unacceptable.

I have already contacted all of the Sonoma County Supervisors and am in the process of contacting the people running for supervisor. I will also be contacting the different agencies in Sonoma County trying to figure out which ones committed this travesty.

In Sonoma County or not, please take the time to write the local supervisors and candidates. Pressing them for some resolution is absolutely necessary. I’ve started the fire; all you have to do is hold their feet to it.

Remember, be polite but firm, reference Clay and Harold, and be clear; this is unacceptable to you. Please cc me at so I am aware of what everyone has said if I speak with them.


Mike Kerns
Main Office: (707) 565-2241 Work
Petaluma Office: (707) 778-7578 Work
Fax (707) 565-3778

Paul Kelley
Phone (707) 565-2241
Fax (707) 565-3778
Facebook Page:!/profile.php?id=1058226749&ref=ts
Twitter: @paulkelley2010

Efren Carrillo (running for re-election)
Phone (707) 565-2241
Fax (707) 565-3778
Facebook Page:!/profile.php?id=507548454&ref=ts
Twitter: @eferncarrillo,

Valerie Brown
(707) 565-2241
Fax (707) 565-3778
Facebook Page:!/profile.php?id=1247371839&ref=ts

Shirlee Zane
Phone (707) 565-2241
Fax (707) 565-3778!/profile.php?id=1072928718&ref=ts
Twitter: @

Address: County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors
575 Administration Drive, Room 100 A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Adult and Aging Services – Sonoma County Human Services
Diane Kaljian, Director
3725 Westwind Boulevard, Santa Rosa
(707) 565-5900

Anne Dennis Attorney at Law – Clay’s Attorney
(707) 528-3965
2360 Professional Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95403


@shirleezane, @eferncarrillo, @nacoperz09 & @paulkelley2010

@deborafudge @ilikemike

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