Thursday, April 15, 2010
President signs memorandum on equality in hospital visitation
President Obama has signed a memorandum directing Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation based on a variety of factors including sexual orientation and gender identity. The memorandum affects any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid.
This is huge, especially for people in states like Tennessee where marriage equality is a long way off. It means that wherever you live or travel in the United States, you can be with your partner if he or she has to seek medical attention. You won't have the added worry of being separated when your partner is most vulnerable or even at the point of death. Sadly, even in some cases where partners have all their legal documents in order, staff at health facilities have acted with what can only be described as cruelty in separating loved ones. This memorandum goes a long way toward remedying these horrifying situations.
Marriage equality is the obvious long-term solution, but until we achieve that goal, this directive will give couples in Tennessee another much needed layer of protection. It's a day to celebrate!