A great article in the Philadelphia Inquirer a few weeks ago about all the legal and financial difficulties that face gay couples because they can’t get married. Even in states that offer some protection for gay couples, like the right to make medical decisions, they still don’t get treated equally. An example of a couple that has been together for 15 years and has an official civil union in Vermont:
When Heggs, 56, had a heart attack and a stroke, a hospital refused to consult Long. Heggs, who was in intensive care, on a respirator, needed a blood transfusion.
The hospital wanted proof that Heggs and Long were together, Long said.
“They wanted to see our marriage certificate,” Long said. “They would never do that to a heterosexual couple.”
Long, 47, said that when she showed nurses a highlighted section of New Jersey’s domestic-partnership law recognizing unions forged in other states, they didn’t know what to make of the documents.
So Heggs’ sister in Maryland had to call the hospital and give consent over the phone.
Gay marriage matters. It matters to real people just like you and me whose lives are made immeasurably more difficult in ways that the rest of us never have to think about.