Domestic Partner Visitation Rights


The movie Philadelphia was one of the most eye-opening experiences in modern cinema. The story of an attorney suing his firm for false termination after they discovered his sexual orientation was incredible and as current a story line as could be for the early 90s. Tom Hanks played the lead character and his search for justice in such a way we felt his pain and his feelings through his journey. Denzel Washington played the attorney representing his case in a way that was very common at that time in history: with fear, misunderstanding, and very ill at ease. The thought of AIDS instilled fear in many and this film ended up as the perfect reflection of society at that time with all of it’s flaws.

At one point in the movie when Tom Hanks’ character is ill and he’s hospitalized we saw that his partner wasn’t allowed to visit him because they weren’t family. In the movie they were so careful to show the love and relationship between these two people and by the end you were horrified that the hospital wouldn’t let him in. That hospital policy alone has kept dying people away from the people that love them for so long and has prompted one partner adopting  the other so that they could have hospital rights. On Thursday evening, President Obama quietly signed a policy change that will allow domestic partners hospital visitation rights. Some may consider this a gay issue but it’s really a HUMAN issue.

If something were to happen to me today Jeff couldn’t technically see me in the hospital because we aren’t married and are not blood relatives. However, the difference is that he could go into the hospital and just say that we’re married and most likely get in. Same sex couples in most states wouldn’t have that option. This is a victory for all people in the various stages of their relationships to be able to be with the person they love at the time of their greatest need. Read this story of the lesbian whose partner was in the midst of having a baby and one of the doctors told her to leave the room or her partner wouldn’t receive pain medication!

I don’t think there’s a sadder thing than dying alone except having to die alone while the person you love is kept from you because of an archaic policy.

What do you think?

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.