Obama finally notices that gays are people too
The White House issued a memo Thursday directing all hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid to end discrimination against same-sex couples, thereby granting full visitation and medical power of attorney rights to gay and lesbian partners at the vast majority of hospitals nation-wide.
The issue has been a centerpiece of many a gay rights petition and rally over the years, though conservatives in government had been capable of keeping the barricade in place until President Obama’s election.
“The new rules do not apply only to gays,” wrote Michael Shear, in The Washington Post. “They also affect widows and widowers who have found themselves unable to receive visits from a friend or companion. And it would allow members of some religious orders to designate someone other than a family member to make medical decisions.”
While the move will likely earn President Obama some of the political credit he lost by dragging his feet on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” The Human Rights Campaign said it had been working with the administration for some time to ensure this order would be issued, according to CNN.
“In the absence of gay people being able to legally marry in most jurisdictions, this is a step to rectify a gross inequity,” said David Smith, an executive at the Human Rights Campaign, told the network. “Because without gay marriage, much more inequities exist. It should be applauded.”</em>
Too little, far, far too late, but its something. Repeal DADT, recognize gay marriage at the federal level and end the appalling, discriminatory federal benefits restrictions currently in place (from our last “liberal” messiah, Clinton).