Archive for gay rights

Obama’s Gay Rights Policies

Posted in Grinds My Gears with tags , , on April 16, 2010 by Verge

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  That I’m going to be all over praising Obama and his initiatives on equal rights for gays.  I am a liberal, right?  Well, his recent demand that hospitals treat gay partners as family members is such a bunch of shit and I’ll tell you why.  If any of my gay friends out there have anything to add to this discussion, I highly encourage you to make comments as well.

On the surface, it sounds like a great idea.  Obama now says that gay partners should have the same rights as married spouses and family members at the hospital when critical decisions need to be made.  This means that when someone is rushed to the emergency room, their partner can see them right away, or find out their status from a doctor, or even help make life or death decisions if their partner can’t make them for themselves.

These are the kinds of things immediate family and spouses already have the right to do.  What Obama has done is mere gesturing.  He’s put a band aid on the bleeding wound instead of treating the injury.  Gays don’t want special treatment at the hospitals or anywhere else.  What they want is equal treatment.  What that means it that they want the right to marry their spouses in the first place, thereby alleviating the special exception for them at the hospitals in the first place.

Some of you may not understand the difference.  Or, some people you debate with over gay rights may not fully grasp the major difference between “marriage” and “civil union.”  Let me explain, however simplified it may be.  Have you ever filled out an application for anything?  A doctors office form?  A census?  A credit card application?  A mortgage application?  A W-4 or I-9?  A 401K or pension beneficiary form?  If so, let me know how many times the option of “civilly unionized” was a choice when you listed your spouse.  Sure, you cane be “Married, Single, Divorced, Widowed…,” but never “Partnered!”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the bias against gays.  Obama mandates that hospitals observe gays as valid partners.  BUT, only ones that receive federal monies for Medicare and Medicaid.  Private hospitals are still free to make their own policies.  And on top of that, the mandates put the responsibility of actually following the policy on the shoulders of staff members.  More often than not, regardless of the Federal Policy, hospital workers, among others, are told immediate family are to be admitted only.  They do not, and will not, recognize a “partner” as immediate family.  They sure as shit won’t let a “significant other” decide whether or not to keep someone on life support, donate their organs, or amputate rather than operate.

Obama should have gone further and outlawed the prevention of gays from being married.  It is sickening that we must live in an era where gays are considered “not one of us.”  He has still to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, and that even gets the support of the Republican Right!!  With his latest ruling in hospitals, he is merely “allowing” homo-sexuals what should be their god-given “right.”

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