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wedding

Not so happily ever after

It’s an iconic matrimonial step, the symbolic tradition of a groom carrying his bride across the threshold of their first home.  It’s a tender moment that holds the promise of a lifetime together, evoking first proof of vows spoken only hours previously.  Most couples take it for granted that once they are married they will live together. This is not the case for Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels.

wedding

On April 7th the love birds tied the knot while simultaneously embroiled in a legal battle to attain the right to live together. Both are mentally challenged and live in separate group homes, neither of which allow married couples to live in. The two agencies that currently support Hava and Paul have thus far not cooperated with the couples wish to live together in wedded bliss.

“They just have a business model. They want to spend their money certain ways and if it doesn’t fit, well then the individuals lose out,” says the bride’s father, Norman Samuels.  The couple’s family and friends are frustrated by the lack of cooperation from Paul and Hava’s support agencies.

It’s not as though Hava and Paul’s romance has been sudden.  The couple have been together for the last eight years.  Certainly plenty of time and ample warning have been given that the couple have serious intentions of long term commitment.  Their attorney is currently requesting that they be allowed to spend more time together but this is only a stop gap measure, not a solution.  I find that being ‘allowed’ to be together after one is married smacks of the ridiculous.

Paul and Hava are being robbed of something precious.  I know a lot of incredible people that share their lives together.  What would my childhood have been like if my parents weren’t allowed to live together?  Or my grandparents?  My best friend’s fiancé is a chef, she’s a foodie.  Food served at that table is a testimonial to the wonders of strong domestic chemistry.  It’s a gift to find the one you love; to not be allowed to live that fully is a crime.

Home is where the heart is.  How can love be served best if that home is not together?


Inclusion Blog Post

By Inclusion Blog Post

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  1. Beverly wrote: “i agree this is not fair. i compare it to the fact that nursing homes dont accomodate married couples and so they too are separated. when are we going to consider peoples needs rather than whether they fit into the”system”.”

  2. This is criminal. Both agencies should be charged. It is an infringement of basic human rights. As a human services worker it is our job and our responsibility to advocate and support individuals to reach their full potental and gain their independance. Our business is supporting people not controlling people!