Friday, April 16, 2010

What if the Visitation Rights that were given to Same Sex couples were inclusive of those couples in which one partner is serving in the military?

This week President Obama signed a directive that would allow same sex partners hospital visitation rights if the one of them were to fall ill. Granting same sex couples the right to be beside their loved one as they pass (if the illness or injury is fatal) was a decision that came after hearing a story in which a woman was denied the right to hold her lover as her spouse died. Before the signed directive same sex partners would be denied visitation due to the fact that they were not considered family by blood or legally wed.

Of the 1,138 rights that are denied to same sex couples because same sex marriage is not legal in every state, hospital visitation was only one of them. Currently same sex marriage is legal in only 5 states as well as Washington D.C. Unfortunately under of the Defense of Marriage act (DOMA), same sex couples that legally wed in a state that allows same sex marriages will have an annulled marriage license once they return back to their state where same sex marriage licenses are not recognized. Obama has it in his agenda to repeal that as well as the controversial military ban on gays and lesbians serving openly known as Don’t ask Don’t tel (DADT)l.

I must say that although I am grateful to have this single right granted to me, I am disappointed with how he went about the issue. It should not take a story of sorrow to make one understand that love is not a bad thing even if it is between two people of the same sex. Love should not be taken away or toyed with it should not be a bargaining tool for votes. Instead of signing this directive that grants rights to only some of the LGBTQ community why don’t you do what is humane and repeal DADT and DOMA. Under DADT a civilian in a same sex relationship with a soldier cannot visit them openly if the soldier is wounded in battle therefore this directive does not extend rights to all LGBTQ couples. If he had repealed DOMA same sex couples could marry elsewhere in the U.S. and still have a legal marriage license upon return to their state. If DOMA was repealed, then the rights given to those married could be applicable to all same sex couples who are wed anywhere in the United States. If his adminstartion repealed both DADT and DOMA then the lesbian and gays serving our military could wed. Is this the next step? What he did was good for the community but I find that it was nothing great. It was fair and right but it was something that should have been done a long time ago.

P.S.- Celebrate National Day of Silence today!!

Photo compliment of See-ming Lee

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