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Watch: Janice Langbehn Talks to Anderson Cooper About Obama Health Memo and the Death of Her Partner Lisa

Langbehn

Shortly after Obama issued the memorandum last night directing hospitals to allow same-sex partner visitation rights and medical power of attorney, Anderson Cooper spoke with the woman who inspired that memo. Janice Langbehn's experience surely echoes the experience of discrimination many gay and lesbian couples have felt for a long, long time.

Says Langbehn: "I believe this will be Lisa's legacy, that she didn't die in vain."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Shame, shame for the Dubya and Clinton for not spearheading this. The Obama administration is slowly defining the true meaning of freedom in this country. I will vote for Obama 2012.

    Posted by: stopabusingourchildren | Apr 16, 2010 7:35:42 AM


  2. Great story!

    Posted by: MickW | Apr 16, 2010 8:25:28 AM


  3. She is beautiful and her kids are lucky to have such a dedicated loving mom.

    Posted by: ♂ | Apr 16, 2010 9:33:22 AM


  4. glad he did a piece on this

    Posted by: steve | Apr 16, 2010 9:38:04 AM


  5. Marriage rights would take care of this issue. why can't we get married Mr. President?

    Posted by: M. Bergeron | Apr 16, 2010 10:48:50 AM


  6. M Bergeron, would you prefer he didn't bother doing this? Sometimes I wonder why he does anything with so many people b*tching no matter what. He doesn't support SSM because he would like to remain president. You want someone to blame, you can start with your fellow citizens who have voted to ban SSM in every state they have had the opportunity, even in liberal new england.

    This President is an ally to the gay community, sure he could radically push hard for gay rights but it won't do anyone much good once he's thrown out of office for focusing on social issues in the midst of two wars and a struggling economy. He's going to help us incrementally, without a spectacle, but the important thing is that he'll get it done.

    I sincerely believe he is a stealth supporter of SSM (he stated his support in the 90s, when it was much less popular) but the reality is you simply can't get elected president with that position. Not yet. Just look at the numbers for likely voters. Old conservative people vote and young liberals don't. Whose fault is that?

    Its similar to his feigning interest in religion. You can't do shit unless you win, and you can't win unless you fit a certain criteria. It is what it is, but try to look at things within the context of political reality and not idealism.

    I believe we have infiltrated the White House with a stealth ally. Although he is publicly the most supportive President of gay rights ever (which is nothing to sneeze at), he can't express his support of everything we are fighting for because this is still largely a nation of idiots and bigots. Its our job to keep fighting and advocating and applying pressure for our cause. Its his job to fix this mess of a country, of which gay rights are only one among so many problems. Just look what happens when he tries a popular reform, like healthcare.

    Now why would anybody think going full throttle on gay rights would do anything but provide teabagging Republicans with even more ammunition to render him politically impotent and eventually out of the job? Leaving us gays totally f*cked with a Bush/Palin/mystery douchebag who will have us longing for a President even moderately sympathetic to us.

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 16, 2010 12:11:20 PM


  7. Bless this woman, her late partner, and their children.

    But @ Stop: puhleeze. If this is all it takes to get you to vote for ObamaRahm again you must be some intensely self-loathing gay. What about your right not to be fired for being gay? To fight for your country? To marry here or have your foreign-born partner automatically become a US citizen just like straight marrieds do? To adopt children? THAT, Mary, is "true freedom."

    And "slowly"? "Slow motion" is more like it. This was merely an announcement of theoretical policies that are months and months away from happening. Partners of gay federal employees STILL haven't gotten their crumbs and that announcement was almost a year ago.

    But we're probably just seconds away from the revelation that ObamaRahm will allow exceptions "of conscience" for Catholic or other religiofascist-run hospitals.

    Even in secular hospitals, medical emergencies are medical EMERGENCIES and what is a gay partner going to do when some ignorant or religiofascist nurse or doctor says, "No you can't see them or override what his/her homohating Mother wants even if you do go home and get that piece of paper!" .... call the Health & Human Services police? Call HRC's sheriff's department?

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Apr 16, 2010 12:19:45 PM


  8. Wes, you are effing badass. That was so perfectly stated.

    Being an activist doesn't always mean getting all Larry Kramer in someone's face. He's getting stuff done. The whole hospital visitation issue has been, to me, one of the most dehumanizing injustices that gay people have had to endure, and Obama just took care of it with a memo. And, no one's going to have a problem with it. If it were packaged in some sort of marriage bill or even civil unions, there'd be all sorts of uproar and a depletion of his political capital. This way, he can keep taking steps to provide equality.

    Posted by: Jeff | Apr 16, 2010 1:03:28 PM


  9. Did the Obama administration get rid of DADT? Oh wait, not going to. In fact, his DOJ defended even more than a republicon administration would.

    Did the Obama administration get rid of DOMA? not going to happen if we keep waiting and expecting them to do anything without our pressure.

    ENDA ... that was signed already, right? I didn't think so.

    All we are getting are CRUMBS. I'm surprised HRC hasn't been invited to another STFU "champage and caviar" party at the White House.

    I hear this was Obama's way of making sure there were no protests in Los Angeles this Monday when he appears with Senator Boxer.

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/11/10/were-joining-dont-ask-dont-give-boycott/

    DON'T ASK ... DON'T GIVE

    Posted by: FunMe | Apr 16, 2010 2:14:33 PM


  10. I don't understand how this is going to be enforced. Individuals wronged by a hospital's bigotry can't sue directly, but require appealing to the government to act. After it's investigated, and perhaps deemed worth of pursuing by the gov't, it'll be too late. I mean, if documentation like POA, etc, doesn't matter to hospitals, as it didn't for this woman, why would asking people to comply with the law work? How is this enforcible in any practical way?

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 16, 2010 2:42:42 PM


  11. REALLY? our first comment faults Clinton?
    You are some Obama activist now. THIS could have been done A YEAR AGO.
    Thank you President Obama, and the countless unnamed and behind the scene advocates (including HRC) who put this under the Presidents nose.

    This is not EQUALITY however.
    If we have to wait 3 YEARS for such a simple remedy (without any enforcement btw)we must DEMAND FULL CIVIL RIGHTS.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Apr 16, 2010 3:49:59 PM


  12. I have been a staunch Clinton advocate, but I will say I am wholeheartedly humbled by the Obama Administration's brave and touching impact on our everyday lives. This is beautiful. OBAMA 2012!!!

    Posted by: joey | Apr 17, 2010 10:16:38 PM


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