As many who friended me on Facebook already know, Kathy Berg, a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Bentonville, died this past Sunday. Mrs. H, Spud and Sprout took dinner over for her surviving partner/wife and daughter. We listened to what happened at the hospital, and what Philine went through that fateful afternoon, and I thought I would share it with all of you.
They were transported to the hospital, and Philine and Amanda were pretty banged up, but OK. Kathy, on the other hand, was in critical condition after being thrown from the vehicle. Philine had called one of Kathy's sisters, and they were at the hospital too. Only one nurse would talk with Philine about Kathy's condition, and that was just to say that she had some fractures and such. The medical staff at Northwest Medical in Bentonville had taken Kathy's family into the chapel to tell them about her condition and what her chances were. It wasn't until one of Kathy's sisters told the staff that Philine was Kathy's wife and she should be the one making the decisions that anyone let her into the loop. If it weren't for the support of Kathy's family, Philine would not have known what was happening until it was too late.
Now take a page from Jesus and put yourself in Philine's shoes for just a moment. Here you are, just after a car wreck, injured and in shock. Your spouse is in the same hospital, but no one will tell you what is happening. You aren't allowed to go and see the person you have shared your life with and have been raising a child with. No one will talk to you about her condition. Even when the rest of your family arrives at the hospital, you are left out of the loop. Wouldn't that make you angry? Wouldn't you want to spend the last moments of your wife or husband's life next to them, holding their hand? How would you react in this situation.
This is the same situation that lesbian and gay couples face whenever they go to the hospital. Even with power of attorney, living wills, and domestic partnership papers, they are many times left out of these critical decisions and robbed of the last moments of their parters lives. Sometimes, as in the case in Miami last year, the patient dies alone as her partner and children fight for just a minute with them. And it is bullshit.
I personally don't give a damn what conservative Christians reading this think of homosexuality. I don't care what label you want to put on it or how much you think you are "defending the sanctity of marriage" by voting down marriage status to same sex couples. People deserve to have the people who have shared their life's journeys with them close by. Whether you are gay or straight, if you have dedicated your life to being with someone else, then you have a right to be with them in their time of need PERIOD. To deny a loving couple this fundamental right is more evil than anything you in your self righteous minds could ever think that they are doing behind closed doors.
This brought the marriage equality issue home to me in more of a way than reading about the plight of others. This happened in my back yard, to people I care about. And I am tired of my friends being treated like subhumans. It has to end.