UPDATE: Now there are six.
There is now a Change.org petition and a We The People White House petition asking the Obama administration to defund the Missouri hospital that used its security guards to handcuff and forcibly remove a gay man who was merely visiting his partner in the hospital.
“Although the State of Missouri refuses to recognize them, Roger Gorley and Allen Mansell have been in a civil union for nearly five years,” LGBT activist John Becker, creator of the petition, writes:
They make medical decisions for each other, and each has designated the other as power of attorney.
But when Allen got sick and Roger went to visit him at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri this week, none of that mattered. When Roger arrived, an anti-gay member of Allen’s family asked him to leave the hospital room. Roger refused to leave his partner’s side, citing their power of attorney agreement, but the attending nurse refused to honor it. When Roger continued to assert his right to be at his partner’s bedside, Research Medical Center security staff put him in handcuffs and forcibly removed him from the building. A restraining order was later issued against Roger, meaning that he can no longer visit Allen in the hospital at all.
This is not only unconscionable, it’s also a violation of a 2010 Obama administration executive order prohibiting any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding from discriminating against same-sex partners’ hospital visitation rights. The Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services has an obligation to enforce its executive order by investigating this matter and levying sanctions against Research Medical Center, up to and including the removal of federal funding.
No one should be able to deny someone the right to be at their partner’s side when they’re sick. Research Medical Center tried to do so, and should be forced to pay the price.
The We The People petition, hosted on the White House’s site, asks the Obama administration to “remove all Medicare funding from Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO.”:
As a direct result of this hospital denying a gay partner to visit his spouse, and allowing blood family’s decisions to over-ride the legal spouse and denying him visitation this institution has thumbed its nose at the Administrations policy enacted in 2011. All Medicare eligibility needs to be removed from this hospital and complete audit of its policies needs to take place. In addition we demand that the Obama Administration reaffirm its commitment to allowing gay spouses visitation privileges even if the sick person’s family objects.
Sign this Change.org petition and this We The People petition to send the hospital and the Obama administration a strong message that our rights can never be taken away, and we will continue to fight for them as long as anti-gay bigotry forces us to.
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