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Obama's LGBT Hospital Bill = Gay 'Roe v. Wade'?

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Apr 21, 2010 5:40PM

2010_04_21_andymartin.jpg President Obama's gay and lesbian hospital visitation order, announced last Thursday, felt to many like a relatively uncontroversial concession to increasingly active LGBT activists pushing for further legislative victories. But the order, significant in allowing same-sex partners to have visitation rights and make medical decisions for their loved ones, has not gone unnoticed by the far right.

Perennial conservative fringe candidate Andy Martin, known for accusing Rep. Mark Kirk of being gay and "a defacto pedophile," as well as accusing Obama of not being American, said the president has "created a 'homosexual Roe v. Wade' by acting as a national dictator to impose gay rights on American hospitals." He sees the move as ensuring a "Republican landslide" in November, while "erasing" the issue of health care. "Obama’s 'order' for 'gay rights in hospitals' is going to become a defining issue and the latest evidence of his overwhelming and overweening arrogance as a leader," read a press release from Martin. "Is gay rights for hospitals an urgent national issue? Not by a mile ... Obama is actually hurting the progress of gay acceptance. The backlash is going to blow up in his face."

While several days have passed since Obama's order, a periphery view of the typical sources of outcry on LGBT legislative victories rendered little to no complaints from conservative pundits. Only one World Net Daily column, written by Joseph Farah, described the order as "disgusting, illegal, immoral, contemptuous, disingenuous." Martin and Farah's words fall very much short of anything resembling a "backlash."

Questions regarding the order's urgency call to mind the tragic story of Clay Greene, of Sonoma County, Calif., reported at Bilerico Project last week. When Greene's partner of 25 years, Harold Scull, fell at their home and was taken to the hospital, health care workers refused to allow Greene to see his partner though he held power of attorney. Arguing Greene was only a "roommate," the county auctioned off the couple's belongings and isolated the men from each other in separate nursing homes. Three months after being hospitalized, Scull died away from friends and family while Greene remained in a nursing home against his will. Obama's order likely would have seen things turn out much differently for the couple in the final months of Scull's life.