Sunday, April 18, 2010

Obama Cranks Gay Agenda Up One Notch via Hospitals

President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients' choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

-- From "Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays" by Michael D. Shear, Washington Post Staff Writer 4/16/10

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation's health-care institutions. Obama's order will start a rule-making process at HHS that could take several months, officials said.

Hospitals often bar visitors who are not related to an incapacitated patient by blood or marriage, and gay rights activists say many do not respect same-sex couples' efforts to designate a partner to make medical decisions for them if they are seriously ill or injured.

Obama's mandate is the latest attempt by his administration to advance the agenda of a constituency that strongly supported his presidential campaign.

In his first 15 months in office, he has hailed the passage of hate crime legislation and held the first Gay Pride Day celebration at the White House. Last month, Obama's top military and defense officials testified before Congress in favor of repealing of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the armed forces.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Same-sex visitation rights: Opposing White House intervention" comments by Peter Sprigg, posted at Washington Post 4/16/10

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow of Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, was online Friday, April 16, at 2:30 p.m. ET to discuss the reasons why the organization is against White House intervention.

Fairfax, Va.: Why do you believe that the Obama memo grants special rights to gays and lesbians?

Peter Sprigg: We actually have no problem with homosexuals being able to visit their partners in the hospital. On this issue (unlike some other "benefits of marriage," including ones that cost taxpayer money), we take a libertarian stance--the patient's wishes should prevail. But we feel that can be achieved through private contractual arrangements, and White House intervention is unnecessary. However, this issue is usually raised in support of changing the definition of marriage.

Washington, D.C.: I have visited friends and family in the hospital many times and have never been asked to prove that I am a family member. Is this a real problem? Or does the president have other ulterior motives here?

Peter Sprigg: You have hit on a key point. To hear the advocates of same-sex "marriage" talk, you would think that hospitals are surrounded by airport-level security and require 4 forms of ID for someone to visit. Anyone who regularly visits hospitals knows this is untrue--for the most part, you just walk in. There may be exceptions (intensive care, for example), but this "problem" has been greatly exaggerated in order to generate an emotional reaction that will increase support for same-sex "marriage." For the most part, the President's memo is a solution in search of a problem.

Trying to follow your logic: So, the government telling hospitals that they can't forbid gays from seeing their ill partners is a "government intrusion into healthcare," while the hospital's prohibition does not intrude into health care in any way. Right?

Peter Sprigg: The idea that homosexuals are regularly denied the right to visit their partners in the hospital is one that has only one source--homosexual activists who want to change the definition of marriage. Where are the media surveys of hospital administrators to determine how many hospitals actually have such restrictive policies? I think you would find this is rare, not common.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.