Wisconsin Wants to Stop Gay Couples' Hospital Visits
Governor Scott Walker argues loophole violates state constitution
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2011 6:02 PM CDT
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker testifies on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn't steering clear of political flash points: He wants the state to stop defending a law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Republican governor has asked a judge for permission to stop defending a law put in place under the watch of his Democratic predecessor. He contends it violates the state constitution, which bans gay marriage.

Democrats in 2009 worked in a loophole so same-sex partners could visit each other in the hospital, the Journal Sentinel explains. Couples could register as domestic partners and get some of the rights, including hospital visitation, as married couples. A group called Wisconsin Family Action sued the state last year, and the Walker administration agrees with its view that the law violates a 2006 amendment banning gay marriage. "Governor Walker, in deference to the legal opinion of the attorney general that the domestic partner registry...is unconstitutional, does not believe the public interest requires a continued defense of this law," says a brief filed last week.

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Grace O'Malley
May 19, 2011 2:40 AM CDT
Good Lord are some of you easily manipulated. Guess what? There is no visitation police in the hospital. I've been a nurse for 20 years and we just don't care if your gay or not. The only thing we care about is if the patient wants you in the room or not, or in cases of seriously ill patients, if visitation will compromise the patient. This always infuriates me when I read stuff like this, as if there are security guards lingering around the rooms of gay and lesbian folks just waiting to throw out their partners. I know it likely a news flash but there are gay and lesbian nurses too. If you are in a committed relationship and you and your partner want to assure yourselves that each other will be making medical decisions etc... about the other it's very simple with a Durable Power of Attorney for health care purposes, the paperwork of which you can get from the hospital or even print off the internet. If that is not done and the patients family chooses to bar a partner there is nothing the hospital can do about that. It's like arguments within any family, those with legal say, well have the say, those who disagree can always take it to court. This is an article designed to rev up the troops, and you fell for it, apparently unable to think for yourselves, you are unable to see that the ability to see a sick person in the hospital is not within the province of the state. It within the province of yourselves if you so choose to enact that, and that power is well within the legal framework that protects the rights of patients. Get that? To believe otherwise is to simply be willfully blind and unwilling to take your own future within your own hands. If you feel there is any threat to seeing someone you care for, get a DPOA. Problem solved. Otherwise you're just beating a horse that is already dead for nothing more than political purposes.
May 18, 2011 9:18 PM CDT
Fuck this guy. Seriously.
May 18, 2011 7:20 PM CDT
Now this ass wants to deny gay people the right to see the ones they love when they are hospitalized. What sort of evil bastard is this guy?