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Obama Torpedoes Same-Sex "Marriage"

Hospital patients can now control who visits them.

By Petrarch  |  April 19, 2010

Americans are the most tolerant and generous people on earth and have been from the founding days of the Revolution.  The Declaration of Independence can be neatly summed up in one phrase: "Quit pushing us around!" - and as a result, Americans generally recognize that they ought not be excessively shoving the other guy around either.

Having come to America in the first place to avoid excessive governments, Americans have always disliked being told what to do.  Of course we don't always live up to this - slavery comes to mind - but when the hypocrisy is pointed out, eventually Americans respond.  A truly cold-hearted, selfish,  "just downright mean" nation would have simply machine-gunned Dr. Martin Luther King and his protesters instead of listening to them.

Homosexuals have also benefited from this American tradition of leaving your neighbor alone as long as he does the same to you.  The Lawrence v. Texas case in which the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws fell squarely into this area: the homosexuals in question were behind locked doors in their own private bedroom doing nobody else any harm until the police smashed in their door and found them in the act.

Do we really want police to be bashing in the doors of adults doing nothing to anybody but themselves?  The very idea gives most Americans the willies, and rightly so.

Yet the demand from the left for homosexuals to be given full rights of marriage continued even after their privacy rights were ensured, based on another appealing injustice: hospital visitation rights.  Generally, hospitals will permit patient visits only by their family members and a homosexual lover is almost certainly no relation; cue the tear-jerking stories of people barred from the side of their years-long bedmate.

Last week, President Obama did something we thought we'd never see: resolved a longstanding problem by fixing the actual source of the problem in a somewhat minimalistic way that doesn't instantly create a whole array of far worse new problems.  CNN reports:

Obama requested that the regulation make clear that any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, which includes the vast majority of U.S. hospitals, must allow patients to decide who can visit them and prohibit discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity... Obama's memo also requires the HHS regulations to guarantee hospitals honor all patients' advance directives, which include stipulations such as who should make health care decisions if the patient isn't able to do so.  He pointed out that North Carolina recently amended its Patients' Bill of Rights to give each patient "the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient."  [emphasis added]

Freedom Works For Everybody

This story is being reported as a victory for homosexuals, which it is, but it's much more than that.  Carefully consider what Mr. Obama has done here: simply put, he is requiring hospitals to honor patients' requests regarding visitors.

Why is this even an issue?  Of course you, the patient, should have the right to decide who is allowed to visit you.  What possible business is it of the hospital whether that visitor is your mother, your spouse, your neighbor, or your postman?  As long as you want to see him, her, or it, that's all that should matter.

The net effect of Mr. Obama's ruling?  Taking power away from a disembodied authority (the hospital), and returning it to its proper place: the individual.  Where once hospitals could and generally did arbitrarily decide who was and wasn't allowed in to see patients, their institutional power has been taken away.  This is a victory for individual freedom!

Yes, it helps homosexuals.  So what?  It also helps the single, the popular, those who have moved far away from family, anyone who has friends - basically, everybody!

What's more, by allowing the widest possible freedom to everyone no matter who they are, this change yanks the strongest argument out from under same-sex marriage advocates.  No longer can they talk about being banned from their lover's bedside - that's illegal now.  They have what they understandably wanted and which every American can applaud: the right to live their own private lives in their own way free from outside interference even on hospital grounds.

Will the same-sex marriage battle finally end?  We'll see; there are a great many on the Left for whom the real issue was not legal equality but acceptance and explicit promotion of homosexuality by every ordinary person under penalty of law (very hard to require in a free society) or, even worse, the destruction of traditional marriage and the nuclear family which government is doing right before our eyes.

From today, we can clearly see which is which: those homosexuals who simply wanted to be left alone now are and will go on and live their lives in private.  The remaining agitators clearly have anti-American hidden agendas.

Mark it down: we are in wholehearted agreement with the intent of Mr. Obama's order and we are optimistic for the future as the effects ripple through out through our healthcare and other political systems.

One caveat: We can't help but wonder exactly how we've reached a point where the President of the United States even has the power to, at a stroke, command a plethora of hospitals federal, state, local, public and private regarding what their visitor policies Shall Be.  But that's a different matter.