Mentally challenged couple fights for right to live togethether at group home


Disabled Rights: Couple Fights For Right To Live Together At Group Home

PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. — With the beaming smiles of newlyweds, Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels hold hands, exchange adoring glances and complete each other’s sentences. Their first wedding dance, he recalls, was to the song “Unchained …” “Melody,” she chimes in.

They spend their days together in the performing arts education center where they met. But every night, they must part ways. Forziano goes to his group home. His wife goes to hers.

  							 									The mentally disabled couple is not allowed to share a  bedroom by the state-sanctioned nonprofits that run the group homes – a  practice the newlyweds and their parents are now challenging in a  federal civil rights lawsuit.

“We’re very sad when we leave each other,” Forziano says. “I want to live with my wife, because I love her.”


from the article

Sara Gelser, an Oregon state legislator and member of the National Council on Disability board of directors, says Americans have increasingly come to recognize the rights of the disabled to choose to live their own lives, and marriage and sex is part of that.

She says the couple’s sex life is nobody’s business.

“No one has a right to tell an adult what they can do,” Gelser says. “Sex is a healthy and full part of the human experience. I know it makes some people uncomfortable to think people with intellectual disabilities are engaging in sexual relations, but I don’t understand that.”

if they are so mentally handicapped that they can not be on their own then they arent exactly living their own life and they arent really adults. What they are doing to these people is perverse.


I have a disabled adult living at my home, right now. She is my daughter, Audrey. She functions high enough, but has a few childish tendencies. She cannot live on her own, yet, but that doesn’t make her a child, or less of an adult. It is misconceptions like that, that holds back the ones who could be successful. Someone who needs a little help, should still be able to exist in dignity. My daughter lives her own life, and is treated as an adult, even when she doesn’t act like it. And seeing how some adults on this board act, “adult” is a relative term.


One of my sister’s foster kids is now in her young 20’s, but is functionally (mentally and emotionally) 12. She didn’t like the rules and moved out with a boyfriend who is not a good person. Sucks, but what can you do?


We dont let children consent to sex because their mind is not developed enough no matter how developed their body is. Letting mentally disabled people consent to sex because their body is developed even if their mind isnt goes directly against that. Im not saying that no mental handicapped person should be able to consent to sex but giving them automatic status is just asking for them to being taken advantage of.


Support support support. That is all you can do. They have to learn these things themselves. Tough love is required. But, never let them think you gave up on them. They’ll give up any time it gets too rough.