Married Couple With Disabilities Fighting the Law to Live Together [VIDEO]
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The life you start after getting married is supposed to be the best time of your life. You fall in love, get married, move in together, start having children, and grow old together. Of course life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. For one couple in New York, the fact that they each have mental disabilities is stopping them from living together, even in a group home.
Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels met years ago at the performing arts education program for mentally disabled adults, which teaches the basics of staging and set design, and offers singing and acting lessons.Samuels says she fell for her now husband after a series of silly knock knock jokes. The couple considered getting married for three years before actually tying the knot.
Now that they are married, their days consist of spending time together in the performing arts center where they met then each going back to their separate rooms.They are not allowed to share a bedroom by the state-sanctioned nonprofits that run the group homes. In a lawsuit against both of the homes, the couple and their parents state they have been refused a shared room since 2010 and no attempts have even been made to try and accommodate them.
Frank Eltman writes on Yahoo! that “The lawsuit contends Forziano’s facility refused because people requiring the services of a group home are by definition incapable of living as married people, and it says Samuels’ home refused because it believes she doesn’t have the mental capacity to consent to sex. ” Many people are furious at the consent to sex comment, saying that sex is a healthy and full part of the human experience and no one can discriminate against an adult married couple because of their mental disabilities.
Both group homes have maintained mum throughout the process. One not saying anything, the other saying they don’t have the staff and wasn’t designed to accommodate couples. The families have looked into other homes that would allow the couple to live together, but none of the homes would have an availability anytime soon.