New hospital visitation rules for same-sex partners now in effect

Wed. January 19, 2011 9:55 AM by News Staff

Washington, D.C. - Federal regulations requiring hospitals give access to same-sex partners of gay and lesbian patients are now in effect.

The rules apply to all hospitals that accept Medicaid and Medicare.

The Washington Post reports that any hospital that refuses to let a patient's partner in runs the risk of losing federal funding.

President Obama ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to make the change last year.

"Of all the things same-sex couples have to worry about, of all the discrimination and pressures we face, not being able to see our partner or spouse shouldn't be one of them," said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in a statement.