Since we first landed in the US almost 15 years ago, for one reason or another, Gil and I have always been forced to lie about our relationship to protect ourselves from discrimination or blunt mistreatment. Principally when it comes to Hospitals.HERE is my original post when the law first went into effect back in January.
It is a shame, but it is a reality gay people live daily.
However, I can't think of any worse situation to be harassed, mistreated or humiliated other than when you or your loved one is weak, sick and looking for treatment at a Hospital. People have no mercy, trust me.
I have had to lie so many times in Hospitals and so has Gil, just so we would be allowed to care for each other.
The classic lie that always works for us is to play dumb and allow the other to claim to be a translator. This is increasingly difficult because most Hospitals are excited and ready to call in one of their own translators.
They used to offer Spanish translators.
HELLO! We speak Portuguese!!!!! If you still have any doubts, please refer to my BRAZILIANS ARE NOT HISPANICS post, thank you very much.
Not you my dear readers, I know you know the difference ;)
Now, Hospitals have been getting sophisticated lately, and have been offering us Portuguese translators. Imagine that! :)
However, since we got married in Canada on July 2nd of last year, I have been feeling very brave and ready for a fight when people try and stop us from being with each other.
Hell, I got down to using the word HUSBAND without any hesitation, off course that almost always makes the situation a little more dire because we go in with a kidney and Gil starts to have heart palpitation and it's almost always transferred into the Cardiac unit. :)
But he is getting better at staying cool while I turn into a Pit bull to fight the usual bigots.
We have been to Hospitals in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and don't think for a minute that Hospitals workers in New England are less mean than those in Florida or Texas.
The difference is that in Florida or Texas, the mean, bigots are majority, and they do have us intimidated. They feel supported by bigotry and are brave to dare and mistreat gay people left and right.
In New England, the bigots are aware they are a staggering minority and if you scream, someone will show up to defend you from their abuse.
I am not talking out of my *%$$ here, this has happen to us both in Florida, Texas and in New England.
When a mean receptionist tried to separated us in 2002 in Providence, Rhode Island, I started to raise hell, and a nurse came to our rescue to ushered us inside together.
A Nigerian Muslim nurse was also mean to Gil and I and I immediately called the Head Nurse for that floor and had the Muslim Witch banned from getting anywhere near us or I would sue their pants off. It worked.
We have to thank Mr. Obama and his administration for this important step forward in Civil Rights for the United States of America.
The eternal fight of good versus evil continues. More to come in next year's election.
God help us all.
Well, at least with this small step, the radical religious right rednecks loose.
Normal people win. ;)
HERE is the link to the original/full HRC article.
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided new guidance on the enforcement of regulations to protect the visitation rights of same-sex domestic partners in a hospital setting. This is the final step in the process of implementing the regulation which the Obama administration issued last November and went into effect in January.
The guidance reinforces that all patients have the right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner as one of the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospitals participating in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. It is worth noting that almost all hospitals in the country do participate in these programs and will have to meet these requirements.
Existing CoPs protect the rights of hospital patients to have representatives who can act on their behalf, however HHS updated the guidance for these rules to emphasize that hospitals should give deference to patients’ wishes concerning their representatives, whether expressed in writing, orally, or through other evidence, unless prohibited by state law.
To date, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the agency within HHS that oversees those programs, has not experienced problems with the new regulations. According to Jesse Moore, an HHS spokesperson, “We haven’t issued a response to anything, but if they don’t fix the problems and if the problems are serious, we can revoke accreditation.”
The guidance issued today is also intended to make it easier for family members, including a same-sex domestic partner, to make informed care decisions for loved ones who have become incapacitated.
In announcing the enforcement provisions HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could not have been more eloquent: “Couples take a vow to be with each other in sickness and in health and it is unacceptable that, in the past, some same-sex partners were denied the right to visit their loved ones in times of need.”
Information about the visitation regulation is available in our Hospital Visitation Guide. Additionally, HRC’s annual Health care Equality Index (HEI) measures how equitably health care facilities treat their LGBT patients and offers model policies including an LGBT inclusive definition of “family” for visitation purposes. To learn more about these programs, and important steps LGBT individuals and their families should take to protect themselves, even with the new regulation in place, go to www.hrc.org/hei.
Read further details on the guidance: