Alex Blaze

Louisiana Argues against Gay Birth Certificates; Hospitals Become More Inclusive

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 18, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: adoption rights, Barack Obama, beyond marriage, birth certificate, hospital visitation rights, LGBT, louisiana, visitation

File this under "homophobic laws I didn't know about." Louisiana contends that it doesn't have to put a same-sex couple on their adoptive louisiana-seal.gifchild's birth certificate, even though their law says they have to put adoptive parents on a child's birth certificate. Because an adoption case worker should list one member of the couple as the parent to work around the law, causing legal issues further down the line but getting a child into a home... just as God intended.

And I'm sure someone's thinking, How dare some activist judge apply the law as written.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey found that the law was so clear that no trial was needed. Louisiana's law requires the state to list adoptive parents' names. Because New York law allows adoption by unmarried couples, Louisiana had to follow that law in writing the new certificate, he wrote. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit upheld that decision last February. The state asked for a rehearing before the full court.

In related news, the beyond-marriage hospital visitation rules the Obama Administration made last year go into effect today:

Many hospitals have a relatives-only policy when it comes to seeing certainly critically ill patients. Gay-rights activists have fought for years to gain equal rights and equal access for same-sex couples. The law that goes into effect will now allow that.

Imagine you're hospitalized in critical condition and your loved ones aren't allowed in to see you. It happened at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. A woman was dying and her partner of 17 years and their children were kept out.

"It's horrible and shocking, especially nowadays when we think we've advanced so much and there's these horrible rules that need to be changed," said West Hollywood resident Marcus Ketty.

And they are changing. Because of that case, the president issued new regulations regarding hospital visitation rights. Gay-rights activists say some hospitals often wouldn't allow visitors who weren't related to a patient by blood or marriage. Now a patient can designate anyone they want to visit them regardless of their sexual orientation or status.

"I have seen firsthand how the previous laws have affected people," said West Hollywood resident Myk Browne. "I know people who were in the hospital and couldn't have their partner come and visit them, and just how devastating that is."

(Also love the stock footage of gay people in that video. Nothing says gay like shirtless men and two men walking in the same vicinity of one another.)

The coverage makes it seem like hospitals just have to allow same-sex partners to visit, but that's only part of what the new rules said. They said that patients should be allowed to choose for themselves who should be allowed to visit, instead of just family through blood or marriage, as some hospitals used to say.

Which makes sense. Adults should be allowed to decide who's important enough to get to visit them in the hospital, no matter whether they're related or are in a sexual relationship with them. People's lives are more complicated than the sorts of relationships that appear in legal documents.


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It's even worse than that, Alex. Louisiana is arguing that even though it is unconstitutional to discriminate against children BORN to an unmarried couple, it is not unconstitutional to discriminate against children ADOPTED by an unmarried couple! I wrote more about the case in my blog today. http://beyondstraightandgaymarriage.blogspot.com/2011/01/fifth-circuit-hears-argument-en-banc.html

Also love the stock footage of gay people in that video. Nothing says gay like shirtless men and two men walking in the same vicinity of one another.

Don't forget ass cheeks, drag queens, and lesbians with mullets. Combined together you have 98% of our mass media representation at one point.

Great points Alex. This was so much larger than just an LGBT issue.