• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Wisconsin Governor Moves To Block Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples

The only word I can use to describe this is cruel, despicably cruel:

Madison – Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

Democrats who controlled the Legislature in 2009 changed the law so that same-sex couples could sign up for domestic partnership registries with county clerks to secure some – but not all – of the rights afforded married couples.

Wisconsin Family Action sued last year in Dane County circuit court, arguing that the registries violated a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the lawsuit, saying he agreed the new law violated the state constitution. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, hired Madison attorney Lester Pines to defend the state.

Walker, a Republican, replaced Doyle in January and fired Pines in March. On Friday, Walker filed a motion to stop defending the case.

“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 the brief, filed by Walker’s chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn.

Hagedorn told Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser that if he could not withdraw from the case, he would like to amend earlier filings to reflect Walker’s belief that the registries conflict with the state constitution.

Even if Walker is allowed to withdraw from the case, the law would still be defended in court because gay rights group Fair Wisconsin intervened in the case last year.

Fair Wisconsin attorney Christopher Clark said the governor’s move raises legal questions.

“It’s not clear to me that a defendant in a lawsuit… can simply walk away from a lawsuit or withdraw,” he said.

I won’t speak to the legal side of this issue because I’m not up to speed on it, but I really have to wonder what kind of person would seek to prevent two people who are in a relationship from making whatever arrangements they want to allow the other to visit them in the hospital, and what right the state has to tell hospitals that they cannot honor those requests.

Is the GOP hatred for gays so pervasive that they could really be this cold and heartless?

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Is the GOP hatred for gays so pervasive that they could really be this cold and heartless?

    Yes.

    And Walker is evidently just the assh*le his opponents have said he was.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 210 Thumb down 15

  2. legion says:

    I’m sure this will create thousands of jobs and solve the state’s budget problems. Good jorb!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 106 Thumb down 10

  3. I don’t know why I should find this shocking, but I do.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 61 Thumb down 4

  4. mantis says:

    I really have to wonder what kind of person would seek to prevent two people who are in a relationship from making whatever arrangements they want to allow the other to visit them in the hospital

    What kind of person? A Republican. I honestly can’t believe anyone of conscience would associate themselves with that scumbag party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 131 Thumb down 12

  5. Al says:

    Come on. What’s the worst that can happen? Oh yeah, right this could happen. Forgot about that one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 2

  6. Herb says:

    What a jerk…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 4

  7. Paul L. says:

    Sauce for the Goose.
    Funny watching those who supported the DOJ and King & Spalding for withdrawing from defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or the California AG for doing the same with Prop 8 are now screaming because the other side adopted the same tactic.
    WI Gov. Walker uses tactics favored by gay groups to drop state defense of law establishing domestic partnership registry

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 109

  8. Paul,

    I said I am not speaking to whether Walker’s decision is proper under Wisconsin law, mostly because I am without sufficient information to make that determination so I’ll assume for the moment that it is.

    Even so, he didn’t have to do it and I can judge him accordingly for choosing to do so.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 96 Thumb down 7

  9. ratufa says:

    The most influential players in the Republican political coalition are moneyed interests, business, social conservatives and national security hawks. Libertarians are pretty far down wrt influence, and usually wind up getting played for suckers[*] by other groups on that list. So, this sort of thing shouldn’t really be a surprise.

    * Examples of Libertarian suckerdom:

    1) Libertarian supports government deregulation, then looks on in horror as (inevitably) business interests flex their muscle and have the government subsidize the resultant downside risk.

    2) Libertarian supports Republican who talks a good game about Libertarian economics and then looks on in horror as that person caters to social conservatives and supports subsidies to moneyed/corporate interests.

    I understand that, from a Libertarian point of view, the Republican may overall still have been a better choice than the Democratic alternative, but you should expect that, to quote Jimmy Hatlo, “They’ll do it every time”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  10. reid says:

    I eagerly await Jay Tea’s post condemning the right’s constant intrusion into individuals’ rights.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  11. Herb says:

    Sauce for the Goose.

    Otherwise known as the Kindergarten Ruse. “He did it first.”

    I have no complaint about the tactic. My complaint is about the end to which it is used.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  12. ratfua,

    Which is why, often, the only real choice for a libertarian is to not vote

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 19

  13. reid says:

    I hope your eyes are opening, Doug. You may think you’re just voting libertarian-light by voting Republican, but a lot of a-holes like this are in the bunch, and most of the rest of the R’s happily (or fearfully) go along with this kind of agenda.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

  14. Jess says:

    Doug,

    Or to vote Libertarian.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  15. mantis says:

    Funny watching those who supported the DOJ and King & Spalding for withdrawing from defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or the California AG for doing the same with Prop 8 are now screaming because the other side adopted the same tactic.

    Yes, it is funny that one side is unwilling to defend a discriminatory, immoral, and unconstitutional law, while the other side will got through whatever contorted efforts they can to discriminate against and punish people for being gay, even going so far as to refuse to defend a constitutional law, the opponents of which couldn’t even get the WI Supreme Court to hear their case. Real funny, assface.

    Let me ask you this: why would you need a law preventing someone from visiting their dying spouse in the hospital? Sadism? Just plain evil? What is the purpose? What is wrong with you people?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 100 Thumb down 2

  16. Franklin says:

    I’d like to hear the governor’s side of the story, because I can’t really comprehend why somebody would feel it’s okay to make some people die alone.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 67 Thumb down 2

  17. jwest says:

    I wish people would stop believing that Doug Mataconis is anything but a flaming liberal.

    Libertarians are ardent supporters of the rule of law. They don’t believe the law should be bent or broken for certain groups of people depending on the sympathies of the moment. A true libertarian would say if there is a bad law (or constitutional amendment), people should speak out against it, convince the majority that it needs to be rescinded or modified and then make the change by legal means. Libertarians, like conservatives, defend the principle that laws should apply to all people equally.

    I know libertarians. Libertarians are friends of mine. Doug Mataconis is no libertarian.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 26

  18. Harriet Dorf says:

    Why would anyone prevent a loved one from visiting a sick or dying spouse in the hospital?
    It doesn’t make any sense, Governor Walker !!!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 55 Thumb down 1

  19. iaraschamber says:

    I understand that this is a legal dispute and petitions and such don’t have much effect on that, however perhaps that would help some? I’m from Louisiana so I really don’t think I’d be very effective in getting that going, but if anyone in WI agrees and gets one going I’d be more than happy to help in any productive way possible. http://twitter.com/#!/IarasChamber Just let me know.
    -Iara

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  20. mantis says:

    Libertarians, like conservatives, defend the principle that laws should apply to all people equally.

    I don’t know about libertarians (actually, I do, but nevermind), but conservatives certainly don’t think laws should apply to all people equally. In fact, they are motivated by the exact opposite. If you’re gay, an ethnic minority, a woman, a liberal, or any of conservatives’ other despised groups, there should be a host of laws restricting what you can do. Like, say, being with your dying spouse in the hospital if you’re gay. You shouldn’t be allowed to do that, say conservatives.

    Some conservatives are different, I’ll admit. Some of them just think all gay people should be killed or locked up. I call them honest conservatives.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 4

  21. […] Meade and Althouse can use their New Media videographer skillz to interview some gays and lesbians who are unable to see their longtime partners in the hospital. Share and […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  22. jwest,

    I don’t know any libertarian who bows down and worships majoritarianism in the manner you describe, that is more descriptive of conservatives like Robert Bork for whom individual liberty is a mere “inkblot” on the Constitution.

    And, if you read my post, I already said I wasn’t expressing an opinion on the legality of Walker’s move. I am saying that even if its legal, it is the wrong thing to do. Try to understand that,.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  23. Chad S says:

    To Walker and the movement conservatives, freedom only applies to straight, white christian men apparently.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 4

  24. mantis says:

    To Walker and the movement conservatives, freedom only applies to straight, white christian men apparently.

    Who don’t work for the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  25. jwest says:

    Doug,
    Because you have a Kos mentality, you immediately ascribe Walker’s actions as despicably cruel, cold, heartless and motivated by hatred of gays.

    Could it be that Walker’s motivation is that he is an elected public official sworn to uphold the constitution of Wisconsin? This law appears to be clearly unconstitutional in regards to the 2006 amendment, so you’re saying the governor should ignore the laws he disagrees with.

    Yes, you’re quite a “rule of law” guy.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 64

  26. NotALibertarian says:

    There is nothing cruel about calling gay activists on this transparent attempt to overturn the will of the people in their Constitutional rejection of gay marriage. If gay partners want to visit each other in the hospital, they can show they are serious about their relationship by hiring lawyers and arrange power of attorney for each other. That’s what best friends or very close neighbors would have to do. If some gays can’t afford attorneys, there are plenty of rich liberals who can afford to help them out. Perhaps they could start a charity for the purpose, instead of imposing their personal religious views on everyone else.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 128

  27. jwest says:

    While we’re on the subject, there are no laws that prevent gays or anyone else from visiting someone in the hospital.

    There may be hospital policies (totally arbitrary and totally in hospital control) that limit visitation, but if that is the case, go after the hospitals. How people can advocate that politicians ignore laws if they don’t agree with them is beyond anyone but a liberal.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 54

  28. mantis says:

    Perhaps they could start a charity for the purpose, instead of imposing their personal religious views on everyone else.

    How does one person visiting another person in a hospital impose religious views on anyone, assface?

    Also, GFY.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 59 Thumb down 5

  29. NotALibertarian says:

    Anyone here want to complain about how “unfair” it is for our legal system to give “special” rights to parents over their own children? I mean, here you have a special group of people — “parents” — who automatically have more rights than “non-parents” to control other (little) people and make decisions for them. It’s a regular civil rights abomination, I tell you, the way the law discriminates against non-parents!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

  30. mantis says:

    While we’re on the subject, there are no laws that prevent gays or anyone else from visiting someone in the hospital.

    Yes, there are.

    There may be hospital policies (totally arbitrary and totally in hospital control) that limit visitation, but if that is the case, go after the hospitals.

    A gay person is his/her spouse’s next of kin, even if not legally. Hospitals allow family to visit. Discriminatory laws like the constitutional amendment in Wisconsin are designed to prevent gay spouses from being legally recognized as next of kin. In short, asshole conservatives passed a law to prevent gay people from being equal to everyone else, including hospital visitation. It’s not hospitals’ fault conservatives are hate-filled assholes who want to use the law to punish those they consider sinners, and hospitals have to restrict visitation in a reasonable, legal way.

    How people can advocate that politicians ignore laws if they don’t agree with them is beyond anyone but a liberal.

    Scott Walker wants to ignore the law that allows gay couples to register with their county so they aren’t discriminated against for being gay. Is he a liberal?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 5

  31. mantis says:

    Anyone here want to complain about how “unfair” it is for our legal system to give “special” rights to parents over their own children?

    So you’re comparing gay adults to children who can’t legally make some decisions for themselves? Again, GFY.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  32. NotALibertarian says:

    Mantis,
    The point is that I don’t have the right to visit my best friend of 35 years in the hospital, because we have no interest in sleeping together. What makes gay relationships so special that they get this new right?
    You can call me as many names as you like. It doesn’t change the fact that this is a scam to advance a very destructive form of cultural imperialism.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 76

  33. jwest says:

    Mantis,

    “While we’re on the subject, there are no laws that prevent gays or anyone else from visiting someone in the hospital.”
    “Yes, there are. “

    I’m certain you have a link for this imaginary law. Post it when you find it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 19

  34. mantis says:

    The point is that I don’t have the right to visit my best friend of 35 years in the hospital, because we have no interest in sleeping together. What makes gay relationships so special that they get this new right?

    One word: family. GFY.

    You can call me as many names as you like.

    Thanks, assface. I will.

    It doesn’t change the fact that this is a scam to advance a very destructive form of cultural imperialism. just another way for conservatives to punish groups they dislike out of religiously-inspired sadism. The suffering of others is their lifeblood.

    FTFY.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 3

  35. NotALibertarian says:

    No, actually, I’m comparing the special rights afforded to parents to the special rights afforded to husbands and wives. If activists can destroy the special rights of husbands and wives, they can destroy the special rights of parents.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 22

  36. Neil Hudelson says:

    Libertarians are ardent supporters of the rule of law.

    Really? I thought libertarians were ardent supporters of limited government. Silly me. I didn’t know that meant “We bow down to any law, no matter how unjust or immoral.”

    I’ll let all my libertarian friends know that this is their new M.O.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  37. mantis says:

    I’m certain you have a link for this imaginary law. Post it when you find it.

    It’s in the Wisconsin State Constitution. It’s referenced in this post, and in my comment. Learn to read, dumbass.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  38. mantis says:

    No, actually, I’m comparing the special rights afforded to parents to the special rights afforded to husbands and wives.

    No, actually, you’re comparing gay adults to children. Quite transparently.

    If activists can destroy the special rights of husbands and wives, they can destroy the special rights of parents.

    Explain how anyone is destroying or proposing destroying anything. Can husbands still visit their sick wives in the hospital with these county registries in existence? If you can’t show that they can’t, you are full of shit, but we knew that already. GFY.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  39. NotALibertarian says:

    ” . . . just another way for conservatives to punish groups they dislike out of religiously-inspired sadism.”

    Some pagan religions celebrate homosexuality. Your side gets no logical pass in throwing the “religion” issue around. Why should your religious bias win?

    Oh, and, in case you didn’t know, those same pagans have their own history of abusing Christians. They threw them to the lions.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 25

  40. mantis says:

    Some pagan religions celebrate homosexuality.

    The proponents of those religions are not passing discriminatory laws. Non-sequitur.

    Why should your religious bias win?

    Equality is not religious bias. It’s just plain equality.

    Oh, and, in case you didn’t know, those same pagans have their own history of abusing Christians. They threw them to the lions.

    You’re blaming ancient Rome’s treatment of Christians on modern gay people now? What a retard.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 2

  41. jwest says:

    Mantis,

    I suggest you seek the help of a lawyer – a “libertarian” lawyer if you can possibly find one – to help you understand the Wisconsin constitutional amendment.

    Oh, and if you find the clause that says that gays (or anyone else) can’t visit someone in a hospital, I’ll be glad to apologize.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  42. NotALibertarian says:

    “Explain how anyone is destroying or proposing destroying anything.”

    Placing homosexual relationships on the same level as marriage will remove the rights of many religious people to practice their religion according to their consciences. School-children will be subjected to curricula that casts homosexuality as normal (it isn’t. See: health problems, neurotic promiscuity rates, depressions & suicide rates even in liberal countries like Norway, New Zealand), religious adoption agencies are already being forced to adopt to same-sex couples, and anyone who makes their living in the wedding industry in certains states has been told that they are legally required to accomodate same-sex couples.

    I guess the rights of the sexually-active now trump the rights of the religious.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 48

  43. NotALibertarian says:

    “The proponents of those religions are not passing discriminatory laws.”

    Massachussettes has put Catholic adoption agencies out of business. The state of Illinois is now bringing up charges on a bed-and-breakfast for refusing to host a same-sex wedding. These states would never force these people to service opposite-sex couples. How is the state forcing private citizens to render service to people in a special class not discrimination?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 21

  44. NotALibertarian says:

    “Equality is not religious bias. It’s just plain equality.”

    Any man — gay or straight — is legally allowed to marry any woman — gay or straight. But a man may not marry another man, a cat, a child, or a grandfather clock. (It is legally irrelevant that the activists are not agitating for the right to marry grandfather clocks — although they are agitating for the right to marry children. The logical principle is the point.) This isn’t about equality. It is about enshrining a NEW right into our legal system — one specifically carved out for a sexual special interest.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 35

  45. jwest says:

    Neil,

    Since I give you credit for being less simple minded than most of the liberals here, I encourage you to ask your libertarian friends about the concept of the “rule of law”. If they are well versed in this principle that unites conservatives and libertarians, they will be able to explain to you how this one idea separates our worldview from that of liberals.

    The belief that laws should apply equally to all may seem unfair to you at first, but if you give it some thought, you may find it has benefits.

    Try to let the overall concept sink in a bit. We can go into detail later.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 22

  46. NotALibertarian says:

    “You’re blaming ancient Rome’s treatment of Christians on modern gay people now?”

    And why not? I’m merely applying the standards of liberals, who hold every white person in America responsible for slavery. Gay activists hold our modern society responsible for cruel treatment against gays in the past. Gays have become one of the most privileged groups in America. Now even our military has to accomodate them, even though everyone can see the problems it will cause. But it still isn’t enough.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 36

  47. michael reynolds says:

    NotALibertarian:

    Gay rights doesn’t impose anything on anyone. Period.

    And I suspect you know this which makes you not just an assh0le but a liar. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between you and the earlier generation assh0les who outlawed interracial marriage.

    You’re dying relic of a shameful era.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 2

  48. Tano says:

    How is the state forcing private citizens to render service to people in a special class not discrimination?

    Huh? Forcing businesses to treat all people equally is discrimination? What kind of a perverted logic is that?
    A business that refuses to render services to special classes of people are the ones being discriminatory. Do you think the bed-and-breakfast should be allowed to refuse service to a biracial couple, or a mixed-religion couple?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  49. Franklin says:

    Some pagan religions celebrate homosexuality.

    Ahhh, so all people who accept homosexuality are pagans. Have you ever taken a class in logic, my friend?

    And why not? I’m merely applying the standards of liberals, who hold every white person in America responsible for slavery

    Ahhh, unable to defend your own stupid argument, you deflect. Not to mention, it’s not just liberals who accept that homosexuality is real.

    Oh, and if you find the clause that says that gays (or anyone else) can’t visit someone in a hospital, I’ll be glad to apologize.

    jwest – This blog post says EXACTLY THAT. Is the word ‘hospital’ in the amendment? No. But does the amendment prevent gays from visiting people in the hospital? Yes. If it doesn’t, then you’re going to have to explain what this kerfuffle is about.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  50. Tano says:

    Massachussettes has put Catholic adoption agencies out of business

    No, Catholic adoption agencies have decided, on their own, not to work in an environment that does not allow them to practice their favored brand of discrimination.

    If the agencies are willing to abide by the standards of equal treatment and non-discrimination, then they are welcome to continue their work.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  51. Al says:

    “Any man — gay or straight — is legally allowed to marry any woman — gay or straight.”

    That argument didn’t work in 1967 either.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    Yep. Let’s use the power of government to keep people who are hospitalized from seeing the one they love.

    Thank God conservatives are all about personal freedom. My country tis of thee indeed…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  53. jwest says:

    Franklin,

    As it seems, you are slowly beginning to realize that there is no “law” that prevents gays (or anyone else) from visiting whoever they want in hospitals. What you are finding confusing is the make-believe straw man that liberals are trying to foist upon the weak minded in order to gain votes.

    Marriage, as defined by law – which in Wisconsin now is limited to a man and a woman – carries an implied set of powers granted each to the other, based in centuries of practice and common law that allows a spouse essentially powers of attorney in medical matters when the patient is unable to competently make those decisions by themselves. For people who do not fall under the definition of Wisconsin marriage, this same power is easily conveyed through simple documents.

    No one – Scott Walker, Barack Obama or anyone else – can deny two competent adults from entering into this type of arrangement. So, even if a hospital has a policy (which, of course, is only a policy and not a law) of only allowing close family to visit someone, a person with medical power of attorney would have all the same rights as a legally married spouse. People who say (or, as is a preferred practice around here, infer) that there is a law that prevents gays from visiting their partners in the hospital, they are lying or too stupid to realize the meaning of their words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  54. mantis says:

    Oh, and if you find the clause that says that gays (or anyone else) can’t visit someone in a hospital, I’ll be glad to apologize.

    Maybe you should try to understand that laws can have effects not explicitly stated in their text. For instance, while the original US Constitution classified slaves as 3/5 of a person, it did not explicitly state that slaves couldn’t vote. But partial people can’t vote, so in effect, the Constitution barred slaves from voting. Do you understand now?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  55. Al says:

    As it seems, you are slowly beginning to realize that there is no “law” that prevents gays (or anyone else) from visiting whoever they want in hospitals.

    Oh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  56. Paul L. says:

    Mantis, michael reynolds & Al

    That argument didn’t work in 1967 either.

    I am glad that you have firsthand knowledge of the Black’s communities support of gay marriage.

    I hope you can now use that knowledge to get the Black Churches to publicly support gay marriage nationwide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  57. mantis says:

    Placing homosexual relationships on the same level as marriage will remove the rights of many religious people to practice their religion according to their consciences

    No it won’t, but why don’t you try to prove it?

    School-children will be subjected to curricula that casts homosexuality as normal

    No, allowing gay people equal rights will not change school curricula. Logic fail.

    I guess the rights of the sexually-active now trump the rights of the religious.

    Nope. The religious can still do what they want, even if a gay person can visit his/her dying spouse in the hospital.

    But seriously, go back to whatever hole you crawled out of and scream at the gays there. People like you aren’t welcome in our society anymore, and good riddance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  58. Al says:

    @Paul L.

    Yes, on the whole the black community doesn’t support same sex marriage. So?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  59. michael reynolds says:

    Paul:

    I am glad that you have firsthand knowledge of the Black’s communities support of gay marriage.

    Seriously? That’s what you take for a clever debating ploy? You’re out of your depth.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  60. Paul L. says:

    the original US Constitution classified slaves as 3/5 of a person, it did not explicitly state that slaves couldn’t vote.

    I thought the Original US Constitution only let landowning men vote.
    So Mantis you believe that the Southern slave holding state should have got more Representatives in Congress?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Libertarians are ardent supporters of the rule of law. They don’t believe the law should be bent or broken for certain groups of people depending on the sympathies of the moment.

    “An unjust law is no law at all” — St. Augustine

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  62. jwest says:

    Al,

    Clearly, the linked story shows that by having the proper documents the partner had every right that a married spouse would have. Just because there was some jerk who got in the way didn’t mean her partner lacked the right.

    What you’re trying to do is codify social acceptance into law, which isn’t going to happen.

    I noticed that the lawsuit, which, if the story is accurate is a slam dunk, was dismissed. Since there is no further information, it’s hard to comment on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  63. Paul L. says:

    Mantis, michael reynolds & Al

    Seriously? That’s what you take for a clever debating ploy? You’re out of your depth…
    Yes, on the whole the black community doesn’t support same sex marriage. So?

    Just pointing out that the black community might have some objections to you using their hard won moral authority by comparing single-sex marriage to interracial marriage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  64. […] It’s like he’s trying for the AssHat of the Year Award: Wisconsin Governor Moves To Block Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples. […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  65. mantis says:

    Just pointing out that the black community might have some objections to you using their hard won moral authority by comparing single-sex marriage to interracial marriage.

    I’m willing to bet you don’t know a single person in the “black community.” Perhaps you shouldn’t try to speak for them, hmmm?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  66. Al says:

    @jwest

    Some analysis here.

    “While acknowledging that Langbehn, as the designee of a medical power of attorney that was promptly faxed to the hospital, did have rights that must be respected under Florida law, the court found that those rights had, at least minimally, been respected. Although certain personnel were callous and unfeeling and blocked Langbehn from the degree of access that would have been humane and compassionate, the court found that doctors did consult Langbehn more than once, and that the complaint failed to specify what decisions Langbehn could have made that would be any different from the care that was provided.

    Jordan observed that although Florida has a patient bill of rights statute, it is not applicable to this lawsuit because there was no plausible allegation of violation of Pond’s rights, and as the “patient” in this case, she was the only one with rights under the statute. ”

    If you think that a married couple would have been treated the same way then you’re hopelessly naive.

    @Paul L.

    Again, so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  67. NotALibertarian says:

    “And I suspect you know this which makes you not just an assh0le but a liar.”

    Well, Mr. Reynolds, substantive arguments like this one have really added a lot to this discussion. I have given you well-publicized examples of how gay rights are currently over-taking religious rights of many of those who follow the world’s major religions. But if considering me a “liar” helps you somehow, feel free to call me one again in your next response.

    Race and sexual proclivities are two completely different constructs. The former is physical, the latter is behavioral. The Born That Way claim is not even accepted by the American Psychological Association anymore. And it is correct that many, many people in the black community do not buy your comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  68. NotALibertarian says:

    “If the agencies are willing to abide by the standards of equal treatment and non-discrimination, then they are welcome to continue their work.”

    Adoption agencies discriminate all the time. That’s *their job*. Your opinion that two mommies are of equal value as a mommy and a daddy is just your personal opinion. Since the divorce rate of lesbian marriages relative to traditional marriages is off the charts even in liberal countries, your opinion seems based on emotion and demagoguery rather than science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  69. Vast Variety says:

    “Is the GOP hatred for gays so pervasive that they could really be this cold and heartless?”

    I’m surprised that this question even has to be asked. The proof has been around for years. Fortunately the GOP is loosing the war to stuff us back in the closet. What your seeing now is the death throws of a movement that hides it’s hate and fear in the pages of a 2000 year old book.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  70. NotALibertarian says:

    “I’m willing to bet you don’t know a single person in the ‘black community.’”

    Maryland African-American Leaders Stand Strongly Opposed to Gay Marriage

    . . . Regarding same-sex marriage, these organizations view their cause as being parallel to the removal of interracial marriage bans and oftentimes they smear opponents as being bigoted old white men. Gay rights groups often use imagery of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and footage of marches on Washington to show their cause as being equal to the cause of racial equality.

    However, as shown by events last week in Maryland’s legislature, there are people out there who do not share this view: black legislators. Interestingly enough, the same people who struggled for equality, who more often than not personally experienced prejudice and discrimination, did not see the cause of legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland as being equal to their struggle . . .

    . . . Once again, the imagery created by the homosexual advocacy movement of their opponents being nothing but elderly white bigots falls flat. This is not even the first time this has come to pass. In the referendums on same-sex marriage, the African-American community has solidly supported marriage being defined as one man and one woman. For California’s Proposition 8, 70% of black voters supported it and Virginia’s Proposition 1 received 61% of the black vote.

    http://moorecommonsense.com/2011/03/16/african-american-leaders-stand-strongly-opposed-gay-marriage/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  71. AFV007 says:

    The constitution guaruntees equality to all, not just heterosexuals. But hey the bible also points out all mans equality. It’s a shame Christians don’t ever read or ascribe to either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  72. NotALibertarian says:

    “The constitution guaruntees equality to all, not just heterosexuals.”

    This is just rhetorically-dishonest wish-casting. Sexual proclivities are not a protected right under the Constitution. Just about every state in the union at the time of the Founders had laws against adultery, sodomy and bestiality. The Constitution doesn’t obligate the American legal system to regard homosexuality as normal any more than it obligates the American legal system to regard people who crave and eat potting soil or sofa cushions (a condition called “pica”) as normal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  73. Al says:

    @NotALibertarian

    As someone who’s going through an adoption right now I can confidently say that you don’t know what you’re talking about. As for the black community’s feelings on same sex marriage (and at the risk of repeating myself), so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  74. NotALibertarian says:

    “I can confidently say that you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    And what is it in particular that I do not know?

    The black community was brought up by a gay marriage supporter who compared gay marriage to interracial marriage and then insisted that the black community supports gay marriage. As these discussions are usually more productive when facts are applied, I was attempting to correct his misinformation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  75. n donner says:

    Many people believe homosexuality to be a vile despicable choice. You have your own worldview, fine, others have their own worldview as well. It is not your job to coerce others into adopting your worldview.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  76. Al says:

    @NotALibertarian

    “And what is it in particular that I do not know?”

    This:

    “Adoption agencies discriminate all the time. That’s *their job*.”

    I don’t think you understand what the job of an adoption agency is. And speaking of science over demagoguery: bam!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  77. chris g says:

    it is great being a second class citizen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. wr says:

    jwest: “Clearly, the linked story shows that by having the proper documents the partner had every right that a married spouse would have. Just because there was some jerk who got in the way didn’t mean her partner lacked the right.”

    Not to suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about, jwest, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. If I have the right to do something at will and you have the right to do the same thing only after you spend time and money working with a lawyer to be alllowed to do the same thing, or have to spend time searching for a lawyer who is willing to work for free, then we do not have the same rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  79. Ernieyeball says:

    P.L. Sez: “I thought the Original US Constitution only let landowning men vote.”

    The Original US Constitution, amended, is the US Constitution in force today.
    As far as I can tell it leaves the qualifications for electors for Federal Legislative and Executive branches of government up to the States until the adoption of the 14th Amendment.

    Lifted from US CON

    Art. I Sec. 2 Par. 1
    The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
    Art. I Sec. 3 Par. 1
    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by 17th Amendment, section 1.

    Art. II Sec. II Par. 2
    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    Amendment IV Sec. 1
    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

    Amendment XVII Sec. 1
    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

    Amendment XIX Sec.1
    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Amendment XXIII Sec. 1
    The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

    Amendment XXVI Sec.1
    The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  80. Vast Variety says:

    @NotALibertarian

    There is a clause in the constitution that states that just because something isn’t in the constitution doesn’t mean it isn’t a right. You are also confusing in thinking that sexual orientation is solely based on a discretionary activity when in fact it is not. It is as much a part of one’s identity as their skin color.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  81. Tlaloc says:

    I don’t know why I should find this shocking, but I do.

    Seconded. Usually politicians try to be a little less blatant in their evil.

    All I can figure is that Walker feels like he’s already lost the middle and now depends on the hard right for his political life support. But that kind of thinking is a dangerous self fulfilling prophecy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  82. NotALibertarian says:

    Al, I don’t know what adoption agency you are using, but if they’re not sizing up your financial, marital, and medical status as a condition of adopting, they are a terrible agency. These particular areas are used to *discriminate* against people with characteristics that are statistically proven to be high risk in adoptive parents. That’s because adoption agencies do not exist to advance the social justice ambitions of self-interested grown-ups. They exist to protect the interests of children who have no parents doing that. Here’s a link to some more particulars:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/150366-requirements-for-adoption-agencies/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  83. NotALibertarian says:

    “You are also confusing in thinking that sexual orientation is solely based on a discretionary activity when in fact it is not. It is as much a part of one’s identity as their skin color.”

    From the American Psychological Association handbook on sexual orientation:

    “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles…”
    http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/sorientation.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  84. Al says:

    @NotALibertarian

    First off, anyone who’s gone through an adoption will tell you that they’re all terrible agencies. Second, my agency put us through all kinds of screening and yet they’ve successfully placed kids with single parents and same-sex parents for decades now. The idea that single parents or same-sex parents are “high risk” is outdated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  85. NotALibertarian says:

    Al, with all due respect, please take a look at our discussion again, because this last post post of yours is correcting things I never asserted. You seem to have thought you saw some kind of opportunity to just tell me I “don’t know what I’m talking about” and decided to take it. (Unfortunately, that sent us off on a tiresome tangent that has yielded nothing relevant to the actual topic here.)

    Good luch with your adoption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  86. […] has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it. Doesn't he have anything better to do? Wisconsin Governor Moves To Block Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples __________________ Visit theBubbler Amazon Storegridley.info | price-it.info | movie-site.us | […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  87. CB says:

    Clearly, the linked story shows that by having the proper documents the partner had every right that a married spouse would have

    because the first thing that i would want to do after learning that my (very theoretical, i assue you) partner was on a deathbed is hire a lawyer and jump through a million legal hoops, all so i can go see them before they f*cking die.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  88. calistair says:

    Here are links for the most accurate information regarding the Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond case:
    http://janicelangbehn.com/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/us/politics/16webhosp.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. Vast Variety says:

    @NotALibertarian

    You apparently don’t understand what the APA is saying in that statement. It’s an affirmation that human sexuality is a born in trait.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  90. Vast Variety says:

    But I have to say, regardless if you believe that orientation is something your born with or something you choose, it’s irrelevant to the argument.

    Plain and simple. The government has no business telling a capable and consenting adult that they can’t form a family with another capable consenting adult for any reason what so ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  91. Fall says:

    And what right does the government have to stop two people from seeing eachother!? God forbid one was dying! I mean, seriously, equality, is it not mentioned in several of the Constitution’s Ammendments?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  92. […] Wisconsin Governor Moves To Block Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  93. Ksthleen Bubin says:

    This Governer is totally out of control He is beginning to deceide for what others and that is not his role his role is to serve the public not judge, hate and deny human kindness to others what were the people in WI thinking when they elected this Hitler in training

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  94. Gerry W. says:

    Needless to say, this is the route that the republicans go. Who cares about globalization, the infrastructure, or the middle class? It is all about ideology. And that makes them far worse than the democrats. While democrats try and fail, the republicans don’t care at all and it will be an Oligarchy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  95. Have a nice G.A. says:

    All liberals hate white people and strait people and Christians because they are racists and germaphobes.

    So then now that we have dealt with an important reality, if some one will not let you see a friend or lover that is dieing come get me and I will cause a distraction or whip some ass while you make it into the room.

    Once again Mantis, WHAT HAPPENED TO CIVILTY?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Are all liberals uncouth posers?Just can’t let go of the rules book?

    Sigh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  96. Rick says:

    TIME TO RECALL THIS A**HOLE!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  97. mantis says:

    Once again Mantis, WHAT HAPPENED TO CIVILTY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    I never promised to be civil. When faced with scum like today’s right wing lunatics, I say f*ck civility. You don’t deserve it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  98. Mags says:

    Dear Gov. Walker.

    I hope someday someone prevents you from seeing your loved ones on their deathbed or in the hospital. Then and only then I think will you realize the depth of your asshattery.

    NO LOVE

    Me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  99. Xteacher03 says:

    Why do we worry or concern ourselves about “human” emotions? Do you have “social” conversations worrying about or being concerned with heterosexual behaviors in the bedroom, in greetings, in departures from one another? If not, then why are you concerned with and discussing homosexual behaviors?
    Religious and moral issues are PERSONAL. Society should never try to legislate religions of any persuasion, personal morals and emotions are just that: personal. We can each hold dear to our own personal beliefs but need not demand that all of society believe as any or all individuals do.
    I don’t have to be homosexual to have deep and loving feelings for another of the same sex. I have life-long, dear loved one that are not related by blood or marriage. If some stranger and or societal administrator interprets our relationship correctly or incorrectly must I stop caring and loving? Must I abandon my life-long friend because of what others “might” think?
    Do we want a ROBOTIC society legislating all personal beliefs–religious or moral? Diversity is healthy. Diversity makes us strong, It makes us Americans!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  100. Jon H says:

    @NotALibertarian: What chromosome is religion encoded on?

    I think you’ll find it isn’t an inborn trait.

    Yet religion is protected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  101. Larry says:

    Whatever your feelings about homosexuality or the “homosexual agenda”, this is just plain evil. WWJD?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  102. […] Doug Mataconis on Scott Walker’s move to end a program that allows gay couples hospital visitation rights (or, to be more specific, his attempt to stop defending the laws of his state and the rights of his citizens in court against extremist anti-gay hate groups): I really have to wonder what kind of person would seek to prevent two people who are in a relationship from making whatever arrangements they want to allow the other to visit them in the hospital, and what right the state has to tell hospitals that they cannot honor those requests. […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  103. Koozebane says:

    “Discrimination” is excluding one gender from a partnership that is designed to be inclusive to both genders.

    Gay relationships are undeniably based on exclusion.

    Just say no to gender bigotry.

    And just say no to state interference in the family policies of privately run hospitals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  104. Pat Johnson says:

    I have never been so embarrassed to be a Republican. I spend so much time defending different issues, but I will not allow homophobia to be one of them. I will change my voter registration the moment I get back to my home state. By the way, a very good friend for the last 30 years is a recently termed out Republican governor and when he and I discussed this, he was appalled by your actions.

    You, governor, are a cruel, heartless man who deserves to burn in hell.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  105. […] Mataconis added: I won’t speak to the legal side of this issue because I’m not up to speed on it, but I really […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  106. Matt says:

    I am a Republican. I do not believe in gay marriage. However, the personal decision to enjoin their lives together is theirs. If they chose the civil union or any other legal mechanism for contracting their lives together, it is cruel and unfair for them to not have visitation privileges. This has nothing to do with the sanctity of marriage. This is about a person’s freedom to pursue happiness and support those they love and care about. Not allowing pre-arranged designates visitation is an abomination to every thing I stand for as a Christian and a freedom loving conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  107. Barry says:

    jwest says:

    “While we’re on the subject, there are no laws that prevent gays or anyone else from visiting someone in the hospital.

    There may be hospital policies (totally arbitrary and totally in hospital control) that limit visitation, but if that is the case, go after the hospitals. How people can advocate that politicians ignore laws if they don’t agree with them is beyond anyone but a liberal.”

    The whole point is that hospitals have frequently be a-holes on this topic. The point of such laws is to keep the hospitals from doing that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2