Just in case you thought it was all sunshine and puppydogs for gays in the New Millennium, here's something to make you think:
Dying Lesbian's Partner Denied Access To Her
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 22, 2008 - 1:00 pm ET
(Miami, Florida) Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond had planned to take their three children on a family cruise. The Olympia, Washington couple had been together 18 years and with their children were looking forward to the holiday.
But just as they were about to depart on the cruise from Miami, Florida. Pond, a healthy 39-year-old, suddenly collapsed. She was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with Langbehn and the children following close behind.
But once Langbehn and the children arrived at the hospital the hospital refused to accept information from her about Ponds’s medical history.
Langbehn says she was informed that she was in an antigay city and state, and she could expect to receive no information or acknowledgment as family.
A doctor finally spoke with Janice telling her that there was no chance of recovery.
Other than one five minute visit, which was orchestrated by a Catholic priest at Langbehn’s request to perform last rites, and despite the doctor’s acknowledgement that no medical reason existed to prevent visitation, neither she nor her children were allowed to see Pond until nearly eight hours after their arrival.
Soon after Pond'’s death, Langbehn tried to get her death certificate in order to get life insurance and Social Security benefits for their children. She was denied both by the State of Florida and the Dade County Medical Examiner.
(more at the link)
This year's Presidential election is critical to the gay civil rights movement not just because we don't need another enemy in the White House blocking helpful legislation, but the Supreme Court is at the tipping point. It's already a little rough for us on there, and one more conservative appointment is going to insure that problems like the one this poor woman encountered in Florida don't go away anytime soon.