North Carolina hospitals will have to let in more visitors:
A new statewide rule will help ensure that same-sex partners and other loved ones will be treated the same as immediate family.
The rule adds a provision to the Patients' Bill of Rights, stating: "A patient has the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient." The right applies to hospitals statewide.
This is a great example of a way a right traditionally associated with marriage (having a partner visit in the hospital) can be expanded for the benefit of same-sex couples as well as for other important relationships.