Gay Man Banned from Hospital for Kissing Partner Goodbye
A gay couple in New Jersey is feeling the very real, very illegal effects of homophobia at a time when they are in desperate need of a lighter load, and not a heavier burden in life.
“Everything went okay, until a nurse who knew I was [name redacted]‘s boyfriend referred to me as his ‘friend.’ He corrected her and said that I was his partner. She replied with, ‘Oh your partner in crime?’ I said, ‘No, I’m his boyfriend, thank you.’ She then sighed and said ‘Oh… .’ She rolled her eyes, and gave me a thumbs up and walked away.”
Feeling this was inappropriate behavior from the nurse in question, Paul reported the nurse to the relevant staff, whereby he was told that it was “just a joke.” However, when Paul and his partner’s grandparents were preparing to leave for the evening, Paul alleges things turned from bad to worse.
After his partner’s grandparents both hugged and kissed his partner goodbye, Paul went to do the same. He says he was then “cornered” by two nurses who ran across the room to yell at him, “No contact, that is inappropriate.”
“I then asked the nurse why it was okay for everyone else to give hugs and kisses but it was not okay for me?” Paul told Care2 he then gave his partner another kiss goodbye because the first kiss had been interrupted. “She then told another nurse to take me off his list of allowed visitors.” Not knowing how long his partner would be hospitalized for, this was obviously very distressing for Paul. ”I was very upset, and every time I would call a nurse would say, ‘I’m sorry, we have an order that we cannot speak to you, and that he cannot speak to you.’”
Let’s be perfectly clear here, this is illegal. President Obama laid out new guidelines on existing federal anti-discrimination rules last year which made it crystal clear that LGBT patients in hospitals were to have the exact same access to visitation rights for their partners that heterosexual spouses enjoy.
Saint Barnabas Behavioral Health Center has broken federal law – a highly publicized one at that – and should absolutely be stripped of federal Medicaid and Medicare dollars for it. Period.
Additionally, the nurses who further tormented this young man who was being hospitalized for mental duress should be charged in civil court for their ugly behavior.
I understand that when you’re going through something so heavy that you need to seek professional medical care that holding those who are abusing you accountable may not fall very high on your list of priorities (like say, getting better), but for the love of humanity, please make an example out of these guilty, negligent, cruel “professionals” so this type of nonsense can come to a grinding halt for LGBT patients.
Paul, if you’re reading, we’re so sorry that you and your love are being put through this ordeal. It’s not right and it’s not OK.
Care2 has quite a bit more about this story, so go read the whole thing right this second.