(Editor’s note: The following commentary was submitted by Sara Harvey of New York, who recently attended the Elder Abuse and Guardianship Abuse Listening Session in Washington, D.C. More than 35 citizens from 15 states traveled to Capitol Hill to share stories of loved ones being exploited and abused by the system. Mrs. Harvey is a strong advocate for her husband’s rights, working tirelessly to gain attention of her story by everyone from public officials to national news media. )
My response to Governor Cuomo’s recent campaign “Help Achieve Marriage Equality in NY”
It is a debate raging across the country and a hot issue on the current social and political agenda here in New York.
Gay or straight, does it matter?
In the Southern Tier Finger Lakes region of New York is a husband and a wife who, married now for 13 years, are not allowed to live together and not allowed to freely associate.
There is no divorce, there is no history of domestic violence, they were not poor or receiving government assistance — they were a happily married loving couple minding their own business, living their own lives, going to work every day, no trouble with the law, paying their taxes.
Then, suddenly, the husband was involved in a serious accident which left him neurologically and physically incapacitated. As would most individuals in such a situation, the wife was advised to seek legal guardianship of her husband. She hired an attorney, papers were filed in court and the wife expected she would be appointed guardian, uncontested, and soon her husband would be receiving “home-care” back in the loving environment of their marital residence.
Without going into great detail, suffice it to say things did not go as one would expect for this man’s wife. Suffice it to say that New York could apparently give a rat’s *** about this marriage and this contract the state has sanctioned. In fact, suffice it to say New York could care less that its agents and agencies barraged into this marriage and “administratively” essentially divorced this husband and wife.
Taking custody and guardianship of her husband, the State now allows the wife only six hours per week visitation with her husband, only under paid supervision of third persons who sit and take notes of the wife’s “nice camera” and the books she reads to her husband. Yet it gets even worse.
Two years ago the State agencies sought court permission to end this man’s life. That’s right, Adult Protective Services sought a court order to kill their ward – the very person they are charged with the duty to protect.
New York is seemingly perfectly content destroying marriages wherever and whenever they see fit. Public court records in this case clearly evidence an agent of the NY State Unified Court System who, in response to a NY Supreme Court Justice’s comment, “I think we would all like to see this man go home,” replied, “I wouldn’t frankly, your Honor.”
Nice guy, hey? And to think he is the attorney appointed by the State to represent the husband, and the first thing he does is trash the marriage.
Gay, or straight? It does not matter, no marriage is safe in New York State, just ask Sara Harvey – and read about Gary’s struggle at www.helpbringgaryhome.com
Read more from Big 3 News:
- Victims of the system: New gov’t report claims hundreds of guardianship abuse allegations nationwide
- Terri Schiavo’s family expected to attend critical NY court hearing in Gary Harvey guardianship case
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