Alex posted a real story about a man denied the right to say goodbye to his life partner of 26 years. He sat in the parking lot of the hospital with only a photo of his husband.
Some people will never care if it's called civil unions or marriage or how many Supreme Courts or governors or propositions say that I have the right to love. They will never see me as a human being. They will ignore the reality of their own children's lives. They will wave their bibles and self righteousness and will not stop at withholding acceptance, but will stand in the doorway like Lester Maddox with his axe handle.
Many of these people are determined to have the last word. We are forced to live in fear of these people. So we protect ourselves as best we can with living wills and legal documents and civil unions. But, an accident or medical emergency can land us at their mercy. We can instantly come up against the axe handle of doctor or nurse Maddox or aunt or cousin Maddox.
Another scary thing is, we are often blind sided by the family that seems accepting by including a same sex partner in family gatherings and trips and getting along just fine. Then all of a sudden you are not allowed in the hospital room. Not allowed to make decisions. Not a blood relative. You have no kinship rights whatsoever. The same people with their arms around you at the family barbeque are suddenly strangers and worse than that. It's a scary fear to live with. Fear of the known and the unknown Maddox's.
It happens all too often and will continue to happen until we can marry and have universally recognized legal kinship. But even when it's the law of the land, and it will be, there will still be a battle against those like Maddox who closed his business rather than put down the axe handle.