One of the saddest indignities that gay couples suffer is when hospitals deny them the comfort of love amidst serious illness. Using definitions of “family” that elevate an estranged third-cousin above a decades-long partner, “rules and procedures” can actually result in emotional torture to a sick person who is forced to die alone while administrators lock their spouses and children away from them as though they were nosy interloping strangers.
Fortunately, most people aren’t cruel. And even many of the most stalwart “defenders of the family” will concede that people should be able to be with their partners in the hospital. In fact, when President Obama required that those hospitals that receive Medicare funding revisit their policies to allow patients, not pencil-pushers, to define their family, few complained about “the homosexual agenda.”
I say “few” and not “none” because some folk can be counted on to react negatively, even to the most benign of ideas. Anything whatsoever that might possibly be considered to benefit a gay person will evoke a Pavlovian response. Gay marriage – hate it. Gay military service – fight it. Gay apparel – won’t don it. Gay ol’ Time – not for a minute.
One such pillar of predictability is Matt Barber, the Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Yes, Matt can be counted on to scoop up a big steaming pile of nastiness and throw it at our community. And the issue of having your loved ones in the hospital with you is no exception.
Now Matt, who just isn’t all that bright (no, I’m sorry, it’s not just his opinions – the guy really is stupid) makes the following argument:
* You can have any visitors you like
* So no one is discriminating against gay people
* But allowing gay people to have their partners visit is unfair to Catholic and Baptist hospitals who don’t want to allow gay visitors
Yes, Barber literally makes an argument for denying gay sick people to have their partners visit. He thinks – and I kid you not – that hospitals should have the “liberty of conscience” to emotionally torture their patients.
“Certainly there are Catholic hospitals and Baptist hospitals that recognize homosexual behavior as sinful behavior,” he points, “and they do not want to take part in affirming homosexual sin under the strong arm of the government.”
Some religious hospitals may have to make a decision as to whether to conform to the rules or not accept Medicare patients. Barber says what the Obama administration is doing is casting liberty of conscience aside and forcing acceptance of homosexuality.
It’s no wonder that when I read Matt Barber’s name, I find myself whistling: