Tonight, surrounded by his family, my best friend Kenneth took his last assisted breaths in a hospital known for its “compassion and care” in the area. His family held his hands and whispered their loving goodbyes while the life slipped from his body and he went to his rest. A sudden heart attack claimed him.
But someone was conspicuously absent…
In the parking lot, Bob, his partner of 26 years, said goodbye to a photograph....
The hospital, at the behest of Kenneth’s family, had banned Bob from Kenneth’s room, or seeing him in the hospital at all. 26 years treated as though they were mere passing acquaintances or work colleagues. Simply because Kenneth’s family could never accept their son’s orientation...
Tonight, a nurse sympathetic to Bob’s situation and in violation of the hospital policies, came to the car window and delivered the news to Bob that Kenneth was gone. And Bob said his goodbyes and wishes of love and peace to a picture.... Held to his chest as though he were holding his loved one in tears. Because that was all he had.
Go read the whole thing. This is the result of denying two people who love each other, the rights of marriage, to love honor and cherish each other, until the end.
And even people in states with "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" have numerous stories like this. For example, there's a case in Miami where a hospital denied a gay woman access even though she had the necessary documents. And in the State of Hate, Virginia, those documents are specifically void.
Update: Today, the NY Times had a piece on partners being denied access to their loved one, even though in these two cases
the couples had prepared for a medical emergency, creating living wills, advanced directives and power-of-attorney documents.
Their legal documents were IGNORED. Straight people don't have to carry a legal file full of notarized documents. But we do. And even then they are meaningless. And that's WRONG.