h asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Gay Marriage/Civil Union and Hospital Visitation Rights?

My partner and I reside in TX. Is there a point for us to go get married/unionized in CT, MA, VT, NV, etc, in order to obtain hospital visitation rights (and also power of attorney, etc) in TX or another state? Or, will these rights not be recognized in other states, in any case? For instance, will showing a marriage/domestic partnership/civil union certificate to a hospital administrator legally bind them to allow me to visit my partner, and vice versa?


OK. "USAFisnumber1," obviously, can't read.

The question is perfectly relevant, because marriage confers kinship status, and under certain critical situations (or, suppose the patient is comatose, or can't convey his/her wishes, etc), hospitals allow only legal next-of-kins visitation rights. Yes, one can obviously fill out paperwork beforehand, and specifically confer visitation rights (as well as power of attorney) upon one's partner. HOWEVER, married couples do not have to jump through these extra bureaucratic hoops, in order to have these basic rights which automatically convey with one piece of paper that says you're married. So, ONCE AGAIN, my question is: does getting married in a gay-legal state have any effect whatsoever on hospital visitation procedures in gay-illegal/non-legal states, such as Texas?


4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Legally, the hospital would not have to recognize the out-of-state marriage license which Texas' law will not recongize.

    Practically, it's up to the individuals on the ground to decide who does and does not have the power to make those sorts of decisions. If you walked in to a hospital with your injured, comatose partner and said, "We're married out-of-state and I can make medical decisions for him until he's awake," chances are probably pretty good that they'll listen to you.

    But if you want to make absolutely sure, because your state's laws discriminate against you, then yes, you and your partner should give one another powers of attorney. In fact, it's not a bad idea for heterosexual couples, whether married or not, to do this -- the Terry Schiavo case is a good example of that.

    It's a shame that anyone would have to do that and people can't deal with one another in good faith, but that's the reality of living with discrimination.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Texas does not recognize civil union.

    That said, there is nothing to stop any of the things you asked about, visitation while in the hospital is entirely up to the patient, and a power of attorney can be given to anyone. Being a partner does not automatically give you these things.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Duh...hospital visitation is not dependent upon marital status. If someone you know is sick and in the hospital you can visit if they are willing for you to visit.

    Duh. a Power of Attorney is not tied to being married. You can do that with a simple piece of paper, without an attorney.

    Nice try.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is really up to the other state whether they want to recognize it or not. Some might. I don't think Texas does.

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