An Amoeba, a Fat Cat, a pile of ridiculously cute Shar Pei Puppies, Diego Rivera, and Micahelangelo’s David all walk into a bar…

and say to the bartender, “We’ll have a round of your best MERELY, and set one up for the whole bar, as well!”


What do any of these things have to do with the case of Clay Greene and Harold Scull? Not a thing. Only I know why I put them there.

Creating a petition is a very scary thing. It takes time of course, which none of us have, and it takes courage and thick skin. If you asked me for advice about creating one I would, SADLY, possibly even tell you not to bother; that maybe commentary lamentation and expressing outrage is all we can expect to be done about such matters. I don’t much know; I do not understand.

I would even advise you suchly; Do not make the mistake of thinking that if people do not belabor you with lamentations of being VERY BUSY and having NO time, accessorized with endless litanies of millions of tasks to be completed, that they are not busy. Eveyone is, by virtue of being alive, busy. Comparisons and evaluations are fruitless and a waste of precious life time.

I would further explain that Maybe some of us will not tell you how busy we are, just as maybe some of us will not ever say, “Hot enough for ya?” on any or every day in July and August, or, in response to mention of cleaning your apartment or home, will not reply with “When you are done, come on over to my house! Hahahaha!” I have a point here but I have no wish to explain it.

You will see that your friends are reticent to put their names to anything (though my petition allows you to use a nickname rather than your actual legal name, and only asks for you to put an email address – which of course is NOT PUBLISHED, and which requires clicking on a link in an email to be verified) and that this will hurt.

Especially if you have duly and dutifully fanned their cat’s  page and so on, promptly and immediately upon being asked.

Maybe people fear putting their name to anything until all the facts are out, which I FULLY admire, and which is why my petition MERELY asks for a THOROUGH INVESTIGATION and NOTHING MORE so that the full truth will come out and then, if necessary, applicable laws might be reviewed and even changed, as will, possibly, future procedures in similar situation; some of which might even affect us in that future.

Meanwhile, since I have pushed that button, rung that bell, sounded myself, and, sadly, scanned the list of signed names hoping to see many that are familiar to me, I feel responsible for furthering my cause to collect signatures for the sole reason of REQUESTING A FULL INVESTIGATION INTO THIS CASE, AND A REVIEW OF APPLICABLE LAWS.

There are now allegations of abuse and this saddens me two-fold-ishly; if they are true, I am sad, but still hope, and will continue to pursue signatures politely asking for A THOROUGH REVIEW OF THE CASE, and if they are not true then A THOROUGH REVIEW OF THE CASE is more necessary than ever. So you see, my petition has a built-in insurance clause. It’s a win-win in that it has such a simple request such as to retain its relevance regardless of the underlying truth. It MERELY ASKS FOR A THOROUGH REVIEW OF THIS CASE AND ANY AND ALL APPLICABLE LAWS.


I hope nothing like this ever happens to any of us. but if it does, perhaps then everyone will have truly been to Woodstock, lost their money to Bernie Madoff thus explaining their lack of a mansion, and signed the petition.


Meet Harold and Clay


The response to the horrific story of Clay Greene and Harold Scull has been very gratifying and inspiring. Clearly, their story struck a chord in all of us. To some degree we can’t help imagining ourselves in exactly this situation. Forty-eight hours ago, few people knew their names, and now a Facebook page in their honor has more than 5,000 fans. Quite simply, this case demonstrates how our relationships as LGBT people are so fragile, especially when we reach our later years. Just one small incident, in this case a fall down some steps, sends the world crashing down.

Harold and Clay were in a committed relationship for twenty-five years, and they lived together for twenty years. Both Harold and Clay had worked in Hollywood and were passionate collectors of film memorabilia. Harold had worked for MGM studios in the 1950s and was a favorite of Louis B. Mayer in the studio’s heyday. At the same time, Clay worked in television with many popular stars of that period. In addition to his film industry career, Harold was an accomplished artist and avid collector, especially of Mexican and Central American Santos religious art and artifacts. Art, heirlooms, and memorabilia graced the walls of their leased home, in which they planned to live together until their deaths.

Several folks have commented about the legal status of Clay and Harold’s relationship. These tragic events began in April 2008, one month before the California Supreme Court’s historic marriage ruling. By the time the California Supreme Court ruled and marriages began for that brief six months, Harold was already hospitalized and Clay imprisoned in a nursing home. The two men had not registered as Domestic Partners, and they may not have even known that option existed. But they had filled out all the paperwork that attorneys advise same-sex couples to create, including wills and powers of attorney for health care.

In every case our clients are human beings, and they are not perfect, which is why we all identify so fiercely with those we represent. At the time of Harold’s fall he had already been experiencing some degree of mental impairment, and had been drinking. He fell down the stairs and became angry when Clay wanted to call an ambulance because he was afraid of what the result might be. (And as it turned out, he had good reason to be.) The paramedics who arrived on the scene suspected the possibility of abuse. But that suspicion was false. What happened over the next two months is when the nightmare truly began. Once Harold was released from the hospital to a nursing home, the county refused to tell Clay where Harold had been placed, forced Clay into a nursing home where he did not need to be, auctioned all of his possessions, including treasured and valuable works of art and family memorabilia, and took away his two beloved cats. The level of inhumanity is staggering.

After 25 years of a rich and shared life of devoted commitment, a couple at least deserves being able to be at each other’s bedside at the last moments of life. Not only was Harold denied that comfort, and Clay denied the ability to be there to say goodbye to his life partner, but Clay was stripped of everything that mattered and gave him stability in his life.

We can’t change what happened to Harold and Clay, but we can do what we try to do every day: to create a world where what happened to Harold and Clay never happens again.

kate signature
Kate Kendell
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

4 Responses to “An Amoeba, a Fat Cat, a pile of ridiculously cute Shar Pei Puppies, Diego Rivera, and Micahelangelo’s David all walk into a bar…”

  1. good one, Mo

  2. Well directed passion! -janice

  3. You know Mo… nobody gives a shit until something effects them.

    It’s just unfortunate that people could think it doesn’t.

  4. Good post. I learn something tougher on totally different
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