Clay Greene Says He Was ‘Just Roommates’ With Dead Partner Harold Scull

Clay Greene is the 78-year-old man who claims in a lawsuit Sonoma County forcibly separated him from his partner Harold Scull in Scull’s last weeks on this earth, and then sold all their belongings at auction without permission — claims the county denies. The pair had been together for 25 years. But while Greene wants the county to pay for its wrongdoing (he wouldn’t be filing a lawsuit otherwise), it’s not like he’s going to join the gay parade. He doesn’t even consider himself to be gay.

While Greene’s attorney Anne Dennis says things like “Because they were gay, the county was able to do things they would not be able to do to a married couple,” her own client has different dictionary: “Just because my friend was 10 years older than me and fell down in the driveway. They have to make a big deal out of it.”

When prompted by a New York Times reporter, flipping through photographs of the men together, Greene says, “We weren’t a married couple. Why are you making a big deal out of this? We were just roommates.”

Greene’s attitude about his homosexuality is clearly from another era, where gay men did not speak about such things. But we can only imagine the court filings from Sonoma County, defending itself, claiming not only did it act to separate the couple because of alleged domestic abuse, but how can they be guilty of denying hospital visitation rights to a same-sex couple when the surviving partner — and plaintiff — doesn’t even consider their relationship to be that?

A judge and jury should see beyond such vernacular disparities. That doesn’t mean Sonoma County won’t exploit them.

[photo via]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #california #clayandharold #claygreene stories and more


  • Jack E. Jett

    It boggles the mind to think that someone like this could still be in the closet.

  • DBB

    Every facet of this story is so very very sad.

  • FredB

    It doesn’t “boggle my mind that someone like this could still be in the closet” This man is from a different era. Think about how gays were thought of when this man was growing up. I feel sorry for him. Whatever relationship these two had, and took the legal steps to ensure that their affairs were taken care of in an event such as this, was ignored because someone in the county has a bias that is tainting their view of the facts. These two friends had taken the time and made the effort to ensure their property and medical power of attorney were in place. THAT IS WRONG!!!!!

    If they aren’t going to allow you to place that kind of trust in whoever you chose, then make the people applying for those forms have to go before an approval board before they can be in place so the county can approve or disapprove who you leave your care and personal property to. But it must go across the board regardless of gender of the participants, male to female, female-male, male to male, female to female.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @FredB: Unless he’s senile or demented, he knows we are not in that era anymore. Its sad because he’s still trapped emotionally.

  • JamesStone

    I know things are bad for us now but can you imagine being gay back then….how sad!!!

  • merkin

    I hate to say this, but if he cant stand up and claim his identity, then he doesn’t deserve to file suit. I dont have claim on my roommate’s junk–but she and I are just roommates. I know its hard and society was different back then, but c’mon people have faced firing squads. ovens and worse to declare their sexuality. Get the fuck over yourself.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 6 Merkin

    Very very sad to say but I completely agree. If he were alive today, Harvey Milk would be 80! I remember well that many, if not most, of my fellow “White Night” protesters were a good 20-30 years older than my then 21 years; those protesters would be in their 70s and 80s now,.

    Certainly we all can and should have sympathy and empathy for Greene’s plight. Nonetheless, though, if Greene can’t say, “Yes, yes, he was my boyfriend!” well then, maybe he wasn’t.

    Of course Greene is still entitled to all claims of fraud and theft of his own property.

  • edgyguy1426

    This story just gets weirder and weirder and sadder and sadder.

  • Jose

    Uhhhh…. why are we all assuming he’s gay just because queerty posted it? Maybe he actually is, or maybe he’s telling the truth?
    His complaint seems to be they just came in and took all their belongings and sold them.

    Eh, whatever. Also the title’s misleading, honestly I thought this was a story about a guy trying to justify his necrophilia or something. Although that may just be my fault…

  • Cam

    No. 9 · Jose
    Uhhhh…. why are we all assuming he’s gay just because queerty posted it? Maybe he actually is, or maybe he’s telling the truth?
    His complaint seems to be they just came in and took all their belongings and sold them.

    If you read the entire story, they had filied pretty much all the documentation contracts that people do in areas where gay marriage is not legal, rights of survivorship etc.. Additionally, when they were separated, his dying partner spend the last few months putting together a scrapbook of their lives together as a parting gift to him. Doesn’t sound like any roomate I know.

  • Jaroslaw

    Cam -you’re slipping – his attorney says he’s Gay in the story. :) just a friendly rib…..

    Yes, indeed this story just gets wierder and sadder. The vast majority of people I know of WHATEVER persuasion or kink, just don’t care what people think when they get to be 70 or 80. Wonder why this guy is so different? Not that he can’t be, but gosh seems like the thought would have crossed his mind ONCE: “I’ve been living with another guy for 25 years, no marriage and no kids, people MIGHT think I’m Gay (even if I’m not…..)”

    Don’t ya think?

  • Cam

    No. 11 · Jaroslaw
    Cam -you’re slipping – his attorney says he’s Gay in the story. :) just a friendly rib…..

    LOL! Ouch! My only defense is that I hadn’t read anything new on the story, just the first report…but you’re right…I would say that his attorney saying “Yes, Gay” is probably a decent hint that he is. LOL

  • what?!?!

    sadder and sadder.

    if he feels they were just friends then he has no right to anything. this is not a case we should worry ourselves with. where they intimate partners? if yes, then he is gay and needs to get with the program.

    as for being from “a different era” i agree and dont. i know plenty of older couples who have been together for ages and ages! they faced the same opposition and were closetted for long periods, but as they got older they threw all caution to the wind and chose to live openly (even in retirement communities!!!)

    i thought with age came wisdom.

Comments are closed.