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Civil Rights in 2010 …

April 16, 2010

The Obama administration is issuing new rules to require hospitals receiving federal funds to ensure visiting rights for same-sex couples.

What this means is that if you are gay or lesbian, you will no longer be prevented from seeing your sick or injured partner in the hospital. Such things actually occur. In fact, the New York Times last year profiled a lesbian who was prevented by a Florida hospital from seeing her partner of 20 years when her partner was afflicted by a fatal brain aneurysm.

Is there anyone with a conscience who thinks that was right? Of course not. Even the most anti-gay person would have to recognize that such hospital policies are discriminatory and wrong.

It’s curious then that so many people stumble over same-sex marriage. But try articulating the difference between the two situations:

“It is wrong to prevent gays from seeing each other when one of them is hospitalized, but it’s ok to prevent them from getting married.”

Huh? It just doesn’t make sense to say that people should have rights in one situation, but not another. It’s incongruous to support equality and fairness in one breath, but not the next. Isn’t it?

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