Know Your Rights
- LAMBDA LEGAL The nation's oldest and largest organization working for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS. UPDATE: Website has a guide which answers questions about benefits, tax issues, immigration questions, etc. that married individuals after DOMA may have.
- GLAD a resource guide for student's rights, changing the last name on your passport, income tax questions, how to get married, etc. Listed by state. *Vermont recently updated their student's rights brochure 1/16/2013
- EQUALITY MAPS provide quick and easy summaries of laws that affect LGBT Americans on a state-by-state and issue-by-issue basis. The maps present information on laws in areas from employment discrimination and relationship recognition to hate crimes protections and anti-bullying laws. There are also demographics covering LGBT Populations and Same-Sex Couples Raising Children. Date current as of 5/17/2013.
- Mortgageloan.com offers a Guide for Gay and Lesbian couples on Houses and Mortgages. This guide will help to explain the different approaches that same-sex couples can take to getting a mortgage, establishing ownership of a home, and creating legal documents that anticipate any legal or property-ownership issues that might occur if the couple breaks up or one partner dies. Read it here...
- WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has issued an official guidance making it clear that same-sex partners and others must be given equal visitation rights at long-term care facilities, regardless of their marital status.
This new guidance applies to all long-term care facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, including nursing homes and hospice facilities.
The guidance states that all patients in these facilities must be given the right to receive visitors of their choosing, regardless of whether the patient and visitors have a legally recognized or biological relationship. The guidance explicitly states that discrimination against the same-sex spouse or partner seeking to visit a patient is prohibited.
This guidance resolves an issue that has been a point of confusion for many patients and healthcare providers since the implementation of the 2011 Hospital Visitation Rule. That rule required all hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding to provide equal access to visitation rights to all patients and visitors, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or legally recognized or biological relationship. However, that rule only discussed hospitals, and did not specifically address long-term care facilities. Many same-sex couples have experienced discrimination at facilities like nursing homes and hospice facilities, where visitors have been denied access to their loved ones and told that the Hospital Visitation Rule did not protect their rights in these facilities.
In response to conversations with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), this guidance clarifies that same-sex couples and their families also must be given equal visitation rights in long-term care facilities.