In an April 15 White House Memorandum on the rights of LGBT hospital patients and partners, President Barack Obama announced all Medicare and Medicaid hospitals nationwide will now be required to allow visits by partners of LGBT patients.

The memo quoted North Carolina’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, which was amended in 2008 to include rights for LGBT couples and families.

The memo reads: “Many States have taken steps to try to put an end to these problems. 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’ a right that applies in every hospital in the State. Delaware, Nebraska, and Minnesota have adopted similar laws.”

Equality North Carolina (ENC) originally proposed the change to North Carolina’s Patients’ Bill of Rights and saw it through adoption.

“We are thrilled to see that Equality NC’s work at the state level has provided a model which the President is now taking nationwide to ensure that hospital patients get the care and companionship they deserve,” ENC Executive Director Ian Palmquist said in an April 16 release.

Read ENC’s entire statement here, and view the Presidential Memorandum here.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.