Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels just want to be treated like every other married couple!
The newlyweds recently tied the knot after several years of dating, but they are currently being denied their right to live together due to their mental disabilities. Now, the two are in the middle of a legal battle in hopes of one day being able to live under same roof as husband and wife.
The couple is forced to got to their respective New York group homes at the end of each day, and Paul says it isn’t easy saying goodbye to Hava every night:
“We're very sad when we leave each other. I want to live with my wife, because I love her."
We’d be upset too if we weren’t allowed to be with the one we love!
Each of their group homes has a different reason for not allowing the two to live together: Paul’s says that people in need of group homes are incapable of living together as a married couple while Hava’s claims they do not have the mental capacity to consent to sexual activities with one another.
The newlyweds’ attorney Martin Coleman questions these restrictions set by the facilities, saying:
"What the group homes are saying is that for this class of people, you shouldn't be married. … What point of intellectual disability is too low for someone to be married?"
George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley also weighed in on the issue and says as a legally married couple, they should be given the same rights as everyone else:
"If a state licenses the couple to be married, they are afforded all of the protections and privileges of marriage. The most fundamental right is to be able to live together as a married couple."
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
The issue may make some people uncomfortable, but the bottom line is that Paul and Hava are capable of love just like the rest of us, and they shouldn’t be told that their relationship is any less valid because of their condition.
[Image via Bebeto Matthews/AP Images.]
Tags: attorney, federal civil lawsuit, george washington university, group home, hava samuels, legal matters, love line, marriage, mental disabilities, new york, newlyweds, paul forziano