Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hospitals: Where Being in a Legal, Contractual, Partnered Relationship (Some Call it Marriage, Others Civil Union) Matters

The recent HRC and Gay and Lesbian Medical Association survey on hospitals and how they treat gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patients, is important work. Click here for more. The importance of this work is knowing which hospitals in which states, cities, and towns are more hospitable (note that it shares the same root word as hospital, which is hostel, meaning "inn" which is associated with hospitality), are places that we can go to and our "partners" (or husbands, wives, however we may construct our relationships) can go and be cared for without fear of having to show the paper work that legitimizes our relationship.

The importance of this work was dramatized lately in my own family: when my father spent a great deal of time going in and out of hospitals last year, my mother, his wife, walked into the emergency room with no question from staff in being by his side. But Dean, my partner, and I have no assurance that we would be treated in the same way. What many couples who are LGBT have had to do is bring legal papers to show the relationship is legitimate while married heterosexual couples need no proof of relationships...well, perhaps a ring on a finger.

It is time to change.

Peace, Brett

No comments: