The Penalties for Not Being Married

I’ve been having a conversation with a woman named Carlotta for about a month now.  I met her at Talkwisdom.  She has a blog called Christocentric.  She is totally against gay marriage.  Totally, even though she is a divorced woman (and by that I mean that Christ only allowed divorce for one reason and God itself said that it hated divorce).  Today I mentioned a lesbian couple who were vacationing in Florida with their children.  They were together for 18 years.  One of the women collapsed and the parents of that woman would not allow either her partner or her own children to see their mother.  The hospital refused to recognize her partner (you can read about it here).  A priest allowed a 5 minute visit, but that was it.  And that woman died. 

I mentioned this story to Carlotta.  Her response? 

"About the couple above described in your example.  I just don’t have the sympathy for people in that situation because they weren’t in a legal marriage to begin with.  Although I wouldn’t have been so cruel and to at least let the partner visit her lover in the hospital.  But there are some penalties people have to go through if they don’t have a legal marriage."

No sympathy for two people who had been together for 18 years and then denied visitation rights because of some religious belief?  Anyway, I wrote back to Carlotta and told her that her very words were the reason why I fight for gays and lesbians to be able to marry–these very penalties that these poor women had to go through should not be there.  What a horrible penalty these women had to go through.  I can’t imagine the absolute agony of not being able to see Doug who might be on the verge of death.  I’m afraid that that is where reason is left behind and emotion takes over–nothing on this earth or heaven and hell for that matter could keep me from seeing Doug.  They would have to shoot and kill me to stop me from seeing him.  I mean that totally and absolutely.   I thought I would have to go through a fight when Doug was taken to the hospital after his bike accident.  I went up to the emergency room window and the woman asked me who I was.  I told her that I was his partner and there was no blink of the eye or anything.  She told me that they just brought him in from the ambulance and I could see him as soon as he was brought in.  And that is exactly what happened.  But I was ready for a fight if they weren’t going to let me in.  And there was a movie I saw a number of years ago that showed two elderly women who were lesbians being split apart in nursing homes because they weren’t considered to be a couple.  I would rather die than allow that to happen to me and Doug. 

I suppose I will have to deal with the Florida mentality when I go to Michigan to see my family.  There isn’t even domestic partnership protections in that state.  If something happens to me, my marriage in California won’t be recognized.   That is why we need a fundamental change at the federal level.  It will happen eventually, but not soon enough to prevent tragedies from occurring like they did in Florida.

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11 Responses to The Penalties for Not Being Married

  1. Robert says:

    Wow! The lack of coompassion in her statement is sad, last I checked that was a Christian value. I think the main stream point of view is that Gays and Lesbians should be able to visit their partners in a hosptial, thankfully attitudes are changing.

  2. Cassie says:

    You know what I have NEVER understood about situations like that? Okay, so the parents couln\’t acknowledge the partnership as a marriage because of their misunderstanding of God—fine, that\’s their problem—but why couldn\’t they have acknowledged it as, at least, a FRIENDSHIP and allowed the visit on THAT basis? Christians are a very confused people who just haven\’t gotten their priorities right or something—but I SO don\’t want to get into another dialogue on THIS issue. I had enough to do having to deal with your friend, Gary while you were incommunicade.
    ps: Are you sure that\’s Zak with you and not ZORR?

  3. Justin says:

    Sorry to say but this woman is not a Christian she is a "CINO" Christian In Name Only.  Her lack of compassion and the lack of compassion of the family show their Pseudo Christianity. To not allow the womans own children to see her let alone the person she was with for 18 years is reprehensible.  The woman you were talking with and this womans family would to say the least weighed in the balance and found grossly wanting in the true nature of Chrisianity.
    P.S Cass, that coat looks vaugely familiar see the on going saga below LOL.  And I\’m not to sure that is not ZORR he was acting awfully weird at the rest stop when Doug and Kevin were chowing down on that fried melon.  

  4. Justin says:

    Kevin, altho Texas does not recognize same sex marriage Devon and I both have a living will that was drawn up by a attorney friend of ours and is valid in all 50 states.  It gives us the full rights to determine medical care for each other and the right to be present when any care is administered.  You might want to check that out.  We keep a copy with us when we travel and Devon did have to use it when we went to Louiana for a one day trip.  I had a slight problem and when the Doctor told Devon only my family could ok the treatment Devon producted the Document and the Doctor was kind of ooops ok sign here if you agree to the treatment. 🙂  It trumps anything his or my family mignt do not that they would because they both respect our relationship enough to not act the way this womans family did.
    This is personal I know and, you can tell me to butt out if you want but does your family not aknowlege the relationship between you and Doug?

  5. Justin says:

    Kevin you really must do something about this space.  It deliberately misspells words.  I know it could not be me so it has to be your spaces fault 🙂

  6. Christocentric says:

    You do have me all wrong Kevin.  I did say the word "cruel" to describe anyone who wouldn\’t just use plain common sense in these cases.  The law is really weird, but I\’m no expert on it.  I do know that I don\’t want any laws changed that are distinctive to marriages between men and women.I think Justin alluded to these living wills, and most hospitals also have advanced directives that you can have signed and notarized for your hospital specifics for you families.  The hospitals have to abide by those according to other posters from my board.  I guess that would be equivalent to the living wills.  Anyways, I don\’t believe families should be separated during medical crises – no matter our definition of them.

  7. Christocentric says:

    My first time using this live email stuff.  I\’m trying to see if I\’m still showing up as "no name."

  8. Deb says:

    This his a cord with me. When my partner had major surgery, she had asked me to sign the form where "I" would make the decisions to keep her on or off life support.  She made her wishes known to me and I promised her I would do so.  Her mom came into the room while she was being prepared for surgery and she was really out of it from the medicine they had given her.  My partner handed her mom the paper and said, "Mom you sign here", pointing to the spot where she was a "witness", and said to me, "Deb you sign here", pointing to the spot where I was the decision maker.   Her mom grabbed it from her hands and stared at it for about 5 minutes.  Then she gave it to me and I saw that she signed where I was supposed to. My partner had then fallen asleep. Thank God nothing major happened, but my rights were taken away from me and so were my partner\’s wishes.  Now that we\’re legally getting married, it eases that issue, however with the back and forth of this frustrating volley of \’legalities\’, we still have to walk on eggshells and worry, \’what if\’. It\’s just sad, you know Kevin?

  9. Cassie says:

    It is possible to see both sides to this question—if one tries really HARD. Now, while my sympathies are all with the couples who are being denied their rights—one can understand how a parent feels in a situation like this. This is their child—a person they have loved since they were BORN—and in some cases they can\’t really BELIEVE that same-sex relationships are about LOVE (but they ARE). One can even feel a little sorry for the parents too…if one tries. If the parents are Christian it may be that they feel by intervening at this point and locking out their child\’s partner that they are somehow saving their child\’s soul. (You know, of course, that we never REALLY appear as grown-ups to our parents—especially at times of crisis like these).
    SO, while what they do is wrong I think we can understand that they ARE acting out of mis-guided love. And maybe forgive them…just a little.

  10. Kevin says:

    Hi everyone,
    I\’ve been away in Northern Michigan without an internet connection again, so I haven\’t been able to respond until today.
    You mentioned the penalties for not being married, so I said that is why people need to be able to get married.  I left a comment at your site (which I haven\’t been to since Thursday) about why you would allow the women to see each other.  So I did see that you could at least recognize that we are families.  I am pretty happy with that.
    Hi Deb–that is pretty awful about what your partner\’s mom did.  Doug\’s parents made it very clear to me a while ago that if anything happened to Doug, all the decisions would be mine. 
    Hi Cass, I can see your point.  But if anyone stops me from seeing Doug, then they better be prepared for a fight! 

  11. Cassie says:

    That\’s the problem in situations like this—everybody is so involved with their own feelings and no one is considering anyone else. A fault that applies to both sides. But no one, other than family, could even attemot to stop you, And you already have that issue solved so why borrow trouble?

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