Obama Torpedoes Same-Sex "Marriage"

Hospital patients can now control who visits them.

Americans are the most tolerant and generous people on earth and have been from the founding days of the Revolution.  The Declaration of Independence can be neatly summed up in one phrase: "Quit pushing us around!" - and as a result, Americans generally recognize that they ought not be excessively shoving the other guy around either.

Having come to America in the first place to avoid excessive governments, Americans have always disliked being told what to do.  Of course we don't always live up to this - slavery comes to mind - but when the hypocrisy is pointed out, eventually Americans respond.  A truly cold-hearted, selfish,  "just downright mean" nation would have simply machine-gunned Dr. Martin Luther King and his protesters instead of listening to them.

Homosexuals have also benefited from this American tradition of leaving your neighbor alone as long as he does the same to you.  The Lawrence v. Texas case in which the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws fell squarely into this area: the homosexuals in question were behind locked doors in their own private bedroom doing nobody else any harm until the police smashed in their door and found them in the act.

Do we really want police to be bashing in the doors of adults doing nothing to anybody but themselves?  The very idea gives most Americans the willies, and rightly so.

Yet the demand from the left for homosexuals to be given full rights of marriage continued even after their privacy rights were ensured, based on another appealing injustice: hospital visitation rights.  Generally, hospitals will permit patient visits only by their family members and a homosexual lover is almost certainly no relation; cue the tear-jerking stories of people barred from the side of their years-long bedmate.

Last week, President Obama did something we thought we'd never see: resolved a longstanding problem by fixing the actual source of the problem in a somewhat minimalistic way that doesn't instantly create a whole array of far worse new problems.  CNN reports:

Obama requested that the regulation make clear that any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, which includes the vast majority of U.S. hospitals, must allow patients to decide who can visit them and prohibit discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity... Obama's memo also requires the HHS regulations to guarantee hospitals honor all patients' advance directives, which include stipulations such as who should make health care decisions if the patient isn't able to do so.  He pointed out that North Carolina recently amended its Patients' Bill of Rights to give each patient "the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient."  [emphasis added]

Freedom Works For Everybody

This story is being reported as a victory for homosexuals, which it is, but it's much more than that.  Carefully consider what Mr. Obama has done here: simply put, he is requiring hospitals to honor patients' requests regarding visitors.

Why is this even an issue?  Of course you, the patient, should have the right to decide who is allowed to visit you.  What possible business is it of the hospital whether that visitor is your mother, your spouse, your neighbor, or your postman?  As long as you want to see him, her, or it, that's all that should matter.

The net effect of Mr. Obama's ruling?  Taking power away from a disembodied authority (the hospital), and returning it to its proper place: the individual.  Where once hospitals could and generally did arbitrarily decide who was and wasn't allowed in to see patients, their institutional power has been taken away.  This is a victory for individual freedom!

Yes, it helps homosexuals.  So what?  It also helps the single, the popular, those who have moved far away from family, anyone who has friends - basically, everybody!

What's more, by allowing the widest possible freedom to everyone no matter who they are, this change yanks the strongest argument out from under same-sex marriage advocates.  No longer can they talk about being banned from their lover's bedside - that's illegal now.  They have what they understandably wanted and which every American can applaud: the right to live their own private lives in their own way free from outside interference even on hospital grounds.

Will the same-sex marriage battle finally end?  We'll see; there are a great many on the Left for whom the real issue was not legal equality but acceptance and explicit promotion of homosexuality by every ordinary person under penalty of law (very hard to require in a free society) or, even worse, the destruction of traditional marriage and the nuclear family which government is doing right before our eyes.

From today, we can clearly see which is which: those homosexuals who simply wanted to be left alone now are and will go on and live their lives in private.  The remaining agitators clearly have anti-American hidden agendas.

Mark it down: we are in wholehearted agreement with the intent of Mr. Obama's order and we are optimistic for the future as the effects ripple through out through our healthcare and other political systems.

One caveat: We can't help but wonder exactly how we've reached a point where the President of the United States even has the power to, at a stroke, command a plethora of hospitals federal, state, local, public and private regarding what their visitor policies Shall Be.  But that's a different matter.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
Said it before, will say it again -- both sides of the "gay marriage" issue are wrong. The states have NO right to be in the marriage business to begin with. Marriage is a sacrament, let it return to where it belongs -- under the jurisdiction of the churches.

We all understand the need for the state to have some record of partnerships, so it is acceptable for it to request notification of marriage or other means of qualification for civil union.

It is NOT OK, nor was it ever, for the state to require the application for marriage "licenses", which imply that the state has some right to prevent me from marrying who I will under the auspices of the church of my choice, which it emphatically DOES NOT HAVE, no matter what it may have convinced people.

The state originally got into the marriage "license" racket in an effort to prevent miscegenation, which is reason enough to take a good hard look at its validity today.
April 19, 2010 10:29 AM
Actually, I mostly agree with you Werebat. Where I disagree is that the state does have a legitimate interest in encouraging traditional, stable marriages - because it is the ONLY means by which the next generation can be reliably brought up en masse to be civilized as opposed to beasts.
April 19, 2010 10:49 AM


(Although I don't think the state even need a record of anything. Just do a will for where you want your stuff to go. You can get a rock-solid one online for $50)
April 19, 2010 10:51 AM

Drivel! The government, state or federal, shouldn't be in the position of incentiving ANYTHING sociologically.

That kind of reasoning has led to much of the nonsense we have in the tax code today.

If conservatives are ever going to fix the country, we've got to get away from the notion that Some Things are good to do in a communitarian, top down, social way.

Parents (and churches they choose to attend) should be worrying about the future morality, ethics and sacraments that children and grandchildren are involved in. NOT THE GOVERNMENT.
April 19, 2010 10:55 AM
Agreed, lfon. So much of the trouble we are facing and we are going to face in the next century tracks back to the Fed wriggling out of its chains by whispering sweet promises to both sides of the political spectrum -- "I can give you power to defeat the other guys, if you'll just loosen my shackles..."

A devil in chains, using guile to convince its witless keepers to free it bit by bit. It's smart enough not to make any really shocking moves until after it's too late to tighten the chains again.
April 19, 2010 11:03 AM
"Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other."
- John Adams

It follows, therefore, that anyone who has sworn to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" has a legitimate interest in at least attempting to foster an environment in which the Constitution works. It is because both our leaders and the people in general have abandoned that duty, that we have come to where we are.

I do see a difference between "incentivizing" as opposed to banning and regulating. As with all other government power, it can become "soft tyranny" if taken too far; it's the responsibility of the people to make sure that does not happen.
April 19, 2010 12:32 PM
Adams' statement was reflective. He was commenting from a place of analysis, not instruction.

He recognized that the Constitution wouldn't work if the electorate is debaucherous because they could simply replace all the good stuff with bad stuff.

That's a very different thing than forcing people to have good habits.
April 19, 2010 12:47 PM
NOT forcing. Incentivizing.
April 19, 2010 1:01 PM
Incentivizing? Read Nudge, and see what you think of incentivizing.
April 19, 2010 1:10 PM
Government incentive = force. The power to tax is the power to destroy. By taking money from those that don't agree with the elites and giving it to those that do, you set up a soft tyranny.

Conservatives conveniently forget this until their tax money starts flowing in the opposite direction.

At one time, elitism in America WAS Christian conservative values.
April 19, 2010 1:25 PM
The issue of marriage isn't to be a federal one. While agree with the idea of incentivizing "traditional marriage, I don't think it should be touched by the government in any way. It's a slippery slope once one behavior is selected over another. The libertarian in me says "No!", not even to this one.

However, I would not be opposed to states doing it... if you don't like your state's tax code move elsewhere.
April 19, 2010 3:48 PM
"The issue of marriage isn't to be a federal one."

Just wait and see, Fennoman. Just wait and see.

Within the next twenty years, if that, we'll see one side or the other gifting the Fed with the power to rule on what constitutes a "marriage" in the eyes of the law.

April 19, 2010 3:58 PM
We already discussed the issue of who defines marriage. NO society has ever left it alone.

April 19, 2010 5:39 PM
Shows that Obama is no different than Bush II in denouncing Liberty as an American tradition: like the anti-freedom 'marriage Amendment' Republicans thought would save the union, meanwhile starting wars & claiming deficit restraint an irrational mystique, Obama sees voter placidity as a maxim, not a moral ideal which the limited government tradition that true liberals have..
any couple should eschew the state & declare a business partnership, saving on taxes as well....
April 19, 2010 11:55 PM
EVERYTHING the government does acts as a "nudge" to people to do or not do various things. It's inherent to power, and unavoidable.

The idea is a) to restrict the power of government as much as possible, but that said, we also need to b) use such power as the government unavoidably has in ways which are productive and good rather than destructive and bad.
April 20, 2010 9:16 AM
So why the double standard? Less government means no nonsense about a 'Marriage Amendment' which Republicans- when they were in power- were frothing for, as though divinely ordained morals, which they only use when convenient, must be legislated ad nauseum.
April 20, 2010 6:55 PM
"The remaining agitators clearly have anti-American hidden agendas."

This is a vast overstatement. There are plenty of other issues that homosexual couples have, not being able to file jointly for example. More than that there is a lot of power in a title. Men and women frequently live as married couples for years before getting married, and usually because the woman won't stay any longer unless she has a ring on her finger.

As for government encouraging traditional marriage. The government is to provide a system under free individuals are capable of creating economic growth without fear of force. It is in society's best interest or people to work out 20 minutes a day, but we aren't going to make a law to encourage that, nor should we. That is not within the realm of what a government should be.

I do believe that the founders would disagree with me, but while I always give great weight to the founders that doesn't mean I accept everything they say without argument.
April 20, 2010 8:44 PM
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