Main | Friday, October 21, 2011

President's Citizens Medal Awarded To Lesbian Denied Hospital Visitation

Yesterday President Obama honored Jance Langbehn, who several years ago was denied the right to visit the hospital bedside of her terminally ill partner. Langbehn's story, which had touched the president, prompted (in part) his directive for hospitals to grant visitation rights to LGBT couples. Chris Geidner reports at Metro Weekly:
Lambda Legal brought a lawsuit against the hospital on behalf of Langbehn, which was later dismissed. But, on April 15, 2010, the president took note, directing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to issue rules prohibiting sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in hospital visitation at hospitals that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding. And, after issuing that directive, he called Langbehn to tell her the news. In June, Langbehn met in person with the president, and Obama told the audience gathered for the LGBT Pride Month Reception on June 22, 2010, about Langbehn's story -- concluding that the treatment she and he children had faced "was wrong [and] cruel." He also noted that day that the rules would be put into place and that Sebelius would be asking hospitals to adopt the changes even before the rule went into effect.
[Photo credit: Chris Geidner]

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