President Obama Signs Order Directing Hospitals to Grant Gay Couples Visitation Rights

Thursday, April 15, 2010


President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to grant gay and lesbian partners medical power of attorney as well as full visitation rights.

The president also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit anti-gay 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.

The new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding.

President Obama is now squarely into the debate over gay marriage by attempting to end the common practice by many hospitals of insisting only family members by blood or marriage be allowed to visit patients.

Gay rights activists have argued for years that recognizing gay marriages would ease the emotional pain associated with not being able to visit their partners during a health stay.

By contrast, opponents of gay marriage claim the visitation issue is a red herring, and have argued that advocates want to provide special rights for gays and lesbians that others do not have.

Until the so-called Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA is repealed, this action by the president will guarantee gay and lesbian Americans are treated fairly and with the respect and dignity when a spouse is sick and hospitalized.

This entry was posted in LGBT, News, President Barack Obama and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to President Obama Signs Order Directing Hospitals to Grant Gay Couples Visitation Rights

  1. Randy Arroyo says:

    This is going to be so useful for gay and lesbian couples, especially as the healthcare reform bill is phased in and more and more Americans will be seeking care. I applaud President Obama for taking this step and standing up to the religious right.

  2. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    In the words of the esteemed Vice President Joe Biden, “this is a big, fucking deal.”

    Props to Obama and high five to the gay community.

  3. bradfrmphnx says:

    A little bit of recognition for centuries of scorn. I am jubilant over this news for my gay and lesbian friends. Still more to do…but for now let us all savor this victory.

  4. travesti says:

    Hi very good sharing. thanks a lot

  5. feminazi says:

    I recall a very famous case in Florida of two women ready to depart on a Caribbean cruise and one got ill and had to be hospitalized. The facility refused to let her spouse enter the room and sadly, the patient died. This is precisely why such a directive is needed.

  6. Big Hank says:

    Good for Obama to order HHS to create this policy. I had no clue as a regular straight reader of this blog that Medicare and Medicaid hospitals could kick gay partners out when their loved one lay sick in a bed.

    Where’s Lib Homo? He’s due to add his Ron Christie, Teabagger drivel about Obama having “shit oozing out of his mouth……,” contribution while claiming he’s a progressive. Oh well, the day is young.

    Thanks for the post, Christopher. You always keep your readers informed.

  7. Tiny Dancer says:

    This is HUGE for the LGBT community. HUGE.

    I remember reading about the Florida case feminazi referenced but do you people remember the case last in in Colorado? Two men — together 25 or 28 years and one had to go to hospital from a blood clot? The hospital not only refused to let the healthy partner in the room, when he balked, they had him removed by armed guards.

    This is a long time coming. If the h8trs show up, just ignore them. It shows their stupidity.

  8. Jim says:

    Hooray for sanity!

  9. chlost says:

    Finally. Sanity.

  10. Jimmy says:

    It’s a great move on the president’s part. I would like to see more ink coming from his presidential pen applied to a full range of campaign promises, where applicable.

  11. Joe in Colorado says:

    How likely do you think it is that we will see DADT and/or DOMA repealed this year? I hope at least we get DADT but, both would be tremendous. In any case, I’m very pleased to see Obama step up and do what is just and fair. It is unacceptable to treat gay people as second class citizens.

  12. Robbie says:

    This is a good start.

  13. Fran says:

    About time!

  14. illuminismo says:

    You citizens of the US cannot imagine (and often, don’t even bother to) how important this all is for the rest of the world.
    What Obama is doing is great, even though not as much as everyone expected.
    In popular culture, Obama’s become a myth and an icon. It’s high time we all acknowledged Obama’s just a guy, no matter how smart and trustworthy – no superpowers.

  15. buddhalovespaine says:

    Say, that is pretty reasonable.
    A crimson tide would be more reasonable.
    Do not get bought off. Class struggle is the most important struggle.

  16. lol nice story man.

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