Gloria Nieto

Why Marriage Equality Matters

Filed By Gloria Nieto | September 24, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: hospital visitation rights, marriage equality

Last month I was in the hospital, twice within a 10 day period. No fun to say the least.

doctor.gifWhile one could be considered life-threatening the cumulative effect was to feel completely helpless. I don't believe that is over yet. Today I go back in for surgery as the last chapter of this run of physical bad luck. Hopefully I will be out by tomorrow.

During all this drama, I came to realize how profoundly important my marriage was to me as a person and in these settings.

When the doctors came in to talk to me, my spouse, Jo was there. When I was dealing with a lot of pain and pain medicine, she was there to ask questions, write down the answers and listen to the options for care. Every time the doctor asked who she was, the answer was simple - my spouse.

I did not have to explain my relationship. We are recognized by the state of California, period. None of the domestic partner explanations were necessary.

The doctors did not question us, did not ask for an explanation of what it meant. And because of this recognition there was not any problem with medical privacy issues. None. Period. End of story.

The good news is that the doctors did not push back. There was just an acceptance of our relationship.

The nurses were, as always, fabulous. When Jo went to ask questions or push about when something was going to happen, they were totally helpful and accommodating. Again, there was no question about the relationship.

This wasn't an issue of fairness or political voting. It was two people committed to each other, taking care of each other in sickness and in health. And in my case, long term unemployment.

I don't believe anyone's marriage was damaged in this crisis. When we go back we are not jeopardizing the institution of marriage. We are simply keeping our vows.

In sickness and in health.


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Get better soon. Your relationship is simply defined as "beautiful."

Regan DuCasse | September 24, 2010 2:52 PM

Godspeed back to health...and I wish I were so lucky to have someone in my life like that!

(hugs) to you Gloria and I’ll pray for your speedy and full recovery and (hugs) to your …well, wife.
Yeah, I said it! WIFE!

Here I am in Conneticutt, one of the few states where SSM is okey dokey and my Gay and Lesbian cowokers who are married all too often say ‘spouse’ when in the presence of hetro coworkers.

‘Spouse’ is used on paperwork, a husband or wife is who you’re married to and that’s what you say… admitadly being in the hospital, ok, I can see it… but here?

Please, wife or husband, just not ‘spouse’.

Here in Iowa, regardless of sexual orientation, when engaged partners apply for their marriage license each of the two persons checks a box indicating their individual relationship upon marriage. The choices are: husband, wife, and spouse. My partner and I chose "spouse" -- which is now our legal status. Neither of us chose to be legally husbands and, yes, either or both of us could have chosen "wife."

Thanks, Gloria, for reminding us what is needed. If we all had relationships like that, LGBT or straight, we'd all be better served.

I'm not sure I'd care, were I in a same-sex marriage, whether I was called husband or spouse - either would be fine with me, I think. Of course, I'm not there so can't make the connection.

Gina, of course, we don't know how many other Connecticut folk are active here, but hi to you from another CT person.