Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Gay Rights Advance: Obama Orders Hospitals to Allow Partner Visits

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Gay men and lesbians will soon have virtually the same visitation rights in most U.S. hospitals as blood relatives and married couples under a presidential order issued Thursday night.

President Obama, in an e-mailed memo, directed the Department of Health and Human Services to bar discrimination on hospital visits and also to respect patients' choices on who makes make life and death decisions on their care. The order applies at all hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding -- which covers the vast majority of health care institutions in the U.S.

"There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital," Obama said. "In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean, a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them."

The order won't take effect immediately, but will open a rule-making process at HHS that could take months to spell out the details. Hospitals routinely restrict visits of those who are not directly related -- or married -- to patients.

Obama's move on hospital visits follows his administration's push earlier this year to repeal the "Don't ask, don't tell" law, which requires gays to keep their sexual orientation private when serving in the military.

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>