Lesbian Claims Abuse At Senior Housing Complex In Niles

(CBS) – A lesbian is talking about what she calls abuse at the north suburban senior home where she lives.

CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

Messages of support, from as far away as Sweden, have made their way to the Niles living center of Marsha Wetzel.

This is in response to the legal battle the 68-year-old finds herself in.

Federal court documents filed by Lambda Legal say she was spit on, attacked and suffered a black eye, while enduring the kind of verbal abuse and slurs CBS 2 can’t broadcast and she’d prefer not to share.

“I’m embarrassed to repeat what’s been said to me,” she says.

Wetzel explains: “I’m homosexual. I’m not ashamed of it, never was, never will be. I loved a woman, and she loved me, and we raised a sweet son.”

Wetzel and Judy Kahn hoped to marry, but Kahn died of colon cancer.About a year later, she moved to Glen Saint Andrew Living Community, where she says a handful learned of her past, resulting in a present state of abuse that’s ignored  by staff.

On the day of the lawsuit was filed, the facility issued a statement that “our community does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. … We actively promote dignity for all.”

Lawyers for the living community are asking a judge to dismiss the case.

As for why Wetzel stays in the home, she says it’s a matter of principle.

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