Same Sex Couples to Have Equal Treatement

President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.

The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation. The memo is scheduled to be made public Friday morning, according to an administration official and another source familiar with the White House decision.



  1. #1 Jackal
    April 15, 2010

    Well, there goes half the reason I got married. Just you wait and see: if civil unions are granted the same tax benefits as married couples, no one will get married anymore! Because that’s all the institution of marriage is anymore: hospital visitation rights and tax benefits. And if we let Teh Gayz have those, then Teh Sanctity of Marriage is destwoyed!!1!

  2. #2 L
    April 15, 2010

    Jackal- you can’t be serious? Your statement seems suggest that love could only have constituted a maximum of half the reason you got married. This has to be a joke … Right? You can’t be advocating that hospital visitation and tax benefits contribute to the “sanctity” of marriage.

    P.S – I wouldn’t let your wife read your statement

  3. #3 Laurent Weppe
    April 16, 2010

    @ L:

    I think that Jackal is simply being sarcastic, here

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    April 16, 2010

    Jackal is also female, to the best of my knowledge. Which does not rule out a wife, of course, but the presence of one would be a fairly clear sign of satire. 🙂

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    April 16, 2010

    Jakal IS being sarcastic. See the “!!1!”? That is the tip-off. 😉

  6. #6 Phillip IV
    April 16, 2010

    Just read this on CNN, under the incredibly lazy and misleading headline: “Obama:Allow hospital visits for gays”

    (Not that there aren’t enough people around who would probably support disallowing gays from visiting hospitals in general, but still – this doesn’t even begin to describe what this is about. They’re just relying on the juxtaposition of ‘allow’ and ‘gay’ luring all interested parties into reading the article.)

    Anyway, a step in the right direction, even if I would have much preferred something more substantial earlier in Obama’s term.

  7. #7 Mike Haubrich
    April 16, 2010

    I’ve never understood why they ever had an exclusion for spouses and “family” members anyway. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t want to allow family members within 100 feet of their room when they are sick but would want to have their friends with them. Why don’t the patients choose in the first place? Or is that a silly question?

  8. #8 erp
    April 16, 2010

    The patient may not be in a condition to tell the hospital who can visit. Sometimes the hospital has ignored documents showing domestic partner status etc (especially in states where domestic partnerships/same sex marriage are not recognized).

    I wonder if the Catholic bishops are going to scream this is discrimination against Catholic hospitals (it is not as though Catholic hospitals would necessarily have problems with this but the bishops sometimes second guess the actual people working in the hospitals).

  9. #9 Jackal
    April 16, 2010

    Let’s see:
    Reducing the fundamentals of marriage to government benefits: check
    Use of “Teh”: double check
    Use of “Gayz”: check
    Lapsing into LOL Cat speak (“destwoyed”): check
    Use of “!!1!”: check
    Oh no, folks, I’m totawy sewious!!1!

    Actually, I would have been satisfied to remain life partners without any special ceremony, if it weren’t for the tax benefits and the ability to share insurance. The actual idea of Getting Married was much more important for my husband K, who comes from a more conventional/ traditional background. However, 6 months after the wedding, K ended up in the hospital with appendicitis, and you can bet I was glad for the visitation rights – I only went home to sleep.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    April 16, 2010

    Mike asks why hosptitals restrict visitors, and erp gives a reason. Erp’s reason sounds like it might be true, and if you ask a hospital why they restrict visitors, I’d bet it would sound like that. But I challenge the assumption that this is why there are now visitation restrictions, when in the past, there were not.

    Visitation I remember visitation being restricted mainly to a time range, and not to a category of person, with family being allowed to visit more hours or even to camp out over night. I also remember the local hospital changing the rules … making up fairly restricted rules .. because something specific happened that caused them to feel the need.

    I won’t say what that specific thing was at this time because I may be quite wrong, but I do remember a local hospital changing its rules in a way that would match a move towards what we see today. Not specifically regarding gay/straight partner, but “officially” married in that one can produce a marriage certificate or (later) was in database.

    The relationship thing is itself not the issue. When my wife was having Huxley, we were told that she could restrict access to the birthing and recovery room in any way she liked. Being a husband or a close blood relative to a woman in a maternity ward provides no special privileges, and the security people are accustom to keeping any sort of individual out, or letting any sort of individual in, as per a plan specified in advance (or on he fly as needed) by the mother giving birth. NO reason such a thing could not be done by any prospective hosptical patient.

    To conclude: I suggest that the rules exist, or restricted versions exist, for the same reason you must pay before you pump. The system (in the eyes of those who control it) needs to be shut down, but for reasons that are almost always irrelevant. And the specific wife/husband/other/not gay/gay rules are entirely made up and offensive.