Romney May End Hospital Visitation Rights for Many Gay Couples

It's known that Romney stands against rights for LGBT people. In August 2011 he signed the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) pledge to stand against marriage equality, appoint Supreme Court justices who would also oppose marriage equality, and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would block the federal government from ever recognizing marriages between gays and lesbians. It should also be noted that Romney won the endorsement of the virulently anti-gay NOM after signing the pledge. It was later revealed that Romney also happens to be a major contributor to NOM. And all this despite a 1994 interview in which he said he would be "better than Ted [Kennedy]" on gay rights.

This week Romney apparently believes that it should be up to the states to decide whether or not a spouse or child of gay and lesbian men and women should have the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. He believes that being able to visit a dying spouse in the hospital is a "privilege," not a right. Following mixed messages from Romney regarding his pledged support for the federal anti-gay-marriage amendment, Romney campaign adviser Bay Buchanan told Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner, "Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children."

In April 2010, recognizing the extraordinary miscarriage of justice and horrifying stories of families being split apart when fathers, mothers, husbands and wives were barred from visiting one another in the hospital, Barack Obama signed an executive order mandating that any hospital that receives government funding (including Medicare and Medicaid) recognize the relationships between gays and lesbians. One of the inspirations for the signing of this bill was the story of Janice Langbehn, who, along with their adopted children, was barred from visiting her wife as she lay dying in a Florida hospital.

By combining support for same-sex marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples that provide the same benefits as marriage, a May 2012 poll showed that 62 percent of Americans support equal legal recognition of LGBT relationships.