New York governor George Pataki on Friday signed into law new guarantees that gay couples in a domestic partnership are granted hospital and nursing home visitation rights. "This new law will ensure that no patient in a hospital or nursing home is denied the comfort of being with their loved ones when they need them the most," the governor said in a statement.
The law specifically provides that no domestic partner shall be denied any rights of visitation of his or her domestic partner when such rights are accorded to spouses and next of kin at any hospital, nursing home, or health care facility. Domestic partner is specifically defined under the law.
Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan Van Capelle added, "The Pride Agenda applauds the governor for signing this bill into law. New Yorkers believe in equality, and they clearly believe that same-sex couples and their families should have the same access to each other that all other families have in hospitals and other health care settings. We are glad our government continues to look for ways to strengthen and support all New York families."