Why We Fight and Why We Can’t Be Silent

I was horrified to read a post at Pam’s House Blend, written by TerranceDC.  It’s titled "Why We Can’t Be Silent."  He relates horrible stories about partners being taken to the hospital, only to have the hospital turn away the unsick partner since they are not ‘family.’  Just read this (and I just want to howl at this horrible thing that happened to these women):


Four months ago, Lacey resident Janice Langbehn, her partner Lisa Pond and their children Katie, David and Danielle, ages 10 to 13, were set for a relaxing cruise from Miami to the Bahamas.
But Pond, Langbehn?s partner for nearly 18 years, was stricken in Miami with a brain aneurysm and died. The family says the way they were treated by hospital staff compounded their shock and grief.

Langbehn, a social worker, said officials at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital did not recognize her or their jointly adopted children as part of Pond’s family. They were not allowed to be with her in the emergency room, and Langbehn’s authority to make decisions for Pond was not recognized.

"We never set out to change the world or change how others accept gay families," Langbehn told the crowd at the Capital City Pride on Sunday. "We just wanted to be allowed to live equally and raise our children by giving them all the same opportunities their peers have."
While Washington is one of a half-dozen states to recognize same-sex partnerships in some fashion, Florida is not.

And how about this one:


The day Michael Tartaglia died was a day he had prepared himself and his partner of 33 years for, obtaining every protection available under Colorado law. But at the very moment they most needed to fulfill their responsibilities to each other, Colorado law kept them apart. In November, Colorado voters have the chance to fix the law, by approving Referendum I.
In the mountain home he designed and built with Tartaglia, John Crisci takes a moment to collect himself, his eyes welling up with tears, as he recalls once more the events of Jan. 8, 2004.
"It doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times you say it," he manages, his voice wavering. This is a story Crisci has told to the Colorado legislature, to newspaper reporters and to various groups throughout the state.

When Tartaglia collapsed at the gym on his 70th birthday, Crisci was with him. But the legal papers documenting the couple’s relationship were at their home, 15 minutes away by car. So while an ambulance rushed Tartaglia to Denver’s St. Anthony Central Hospital, Crisci could not be with him, as any spouse would expect to be. "They just weren’t going to allow it," Crisci said of the paramedics. Instead, he rushed home to retrieve his documents, then drove 30 minutes to the hospital, only to find his worst fears confirmed. Tartaglia was already dead.
Facing the same situation, married couples are treated very differently. While Colorado law grants a spouse rights to make medical and end-of-life decisions by default, Crisci knew he needed in hand both Tartaglia’s medical power of attorney (a document that expires upon death), and his will for the worst outcome.

John knew he would need to arrive at the hospital carrying both a durable medical power of attorney for the best outcome, and a will for the worst.

Go read the rest to see why we are not treated equally in this country.  If you can’t understand that, then you need some serious help and I really wonder about your humanity.  I could not imagine not being allowed into the emergency room when Doug was taken there after his bike accident.  I didn’t have our paperwork (since we were meeting at Stanford).  For a brief second I mentally prepared myself for a giant fight, and when I said I was his partner, the nurse let me right into the emergency room.  No questions asked.  But if they had not, there would have been a fight on their hands.  My god, I just cannot understand hospital officials not allowing that woman and her kids into see her partner.  How horrible that must have been and I imagine that will never leave her memory.  And I can’t imagine finally getting to the hospital only to find my partner already dead–and allowed to die alone because of those fucking hate mongers.  And that is exactly what they are. 

I don’t know if I would have been able to control myself or not. 


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