Hospital Decision Is Safe Ground on Gay Rights for Obama

Kevin Sack
The New York Times
4/16/2010

ATLANTA — President Obama has found a way to support gay rights that least offends those who oppose them.

Allowing same-sex partners the same rights as straight couples to visit and make medical decisions for their hospitalized loved ones enjoys broad public backing, even as the country remains polarized over the question of marriage rights for gay men and lesbians.

Mr. Obama’s unexpected move, which was announced through a memorandum released Thursday night, brought muted responses from conservative groups…

…“I think it’ll be relatively noncontroversial,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster in Virginia. “In this day and age, basic rights are deemed to be accorded to everyone. This allows him to give something to his base without worrying too much about backlash on the other side.” …

…The socially conservative Family Research Council issued a statement calling the issue of medical rights for gay men and lesbians “a complete red herring” but saying it had “no objection” to individuals conferring decision-making powers to whomever they wish…

The complete article is at the New York Times.

Read also at RedState.com, “Barack Obama Will Decide Who Can Visit You In The Hospital”:

… Now, as it happens, I’m in agreement on the merits with the idea that same-sex couples should have had hospital visitation rights a long time ago, without the need for a redefinition of marriage; it’s a simple matter of recognizing that these are consenting adults and leaving them to arrange their affairs their own way. So what’s wrong with this picture? As it happens, quite a lot…

(1) The President of the United States, without any Congressional authorization on the subject, is unilaterally announcing a policy that will affect the day-to-day ground-level operations of every hospital in the nation…

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