I’m not going to lie, this story makes my eyes tear up. In 2007, Lisa Pond, of Florida, collapsed from a brain aneurysm and a few hours later at the hospital, she died alone, without her kids or the person she’d spent the last 18 years of her life with. Lisa Pond died this way because she was a lesbian.
Yesterday, President Obama called Pond’s former partner, Janice Langbehn, to inform her that he mandated all hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding — which are most in the country — must extend visitation rights to same-sex couples. This mandate, which should go into effect in a few months, will allow a gay or lesbian partner to not only make medical decisions for their ill or injured loved one, but also to be there during the last moments of their life. In the past, LGBT partners who are not legally married have been refused by hospitals’ “relatives-only” policies. Of course, lots of LGBT folks and their allies still aren’t pleased with Obama’s record on gay rights, such as on the subject of same-sex marriage. But I, for one, am happy to hear that in one more small but meaningful way, gays can enjoy the same rights that a straight girl like me takes for granted. [CNN, The Washington Post]