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Calif Hospital to Change Antigay Visitation Rules

A Fresno, Calif., hospital has agreed to revise its visitation policy after hospital staff refused to allow a woman to see her female partner.

Teresa Rowe, a Bay Area resident who attended the Meet in the Middle 4 Equality rally in May, was barred for several hours from visiting her partner, Kristin Orbin, in Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center. Orbin had suffered epileptic seizure following a 14-mile walk as part of the marriage equality rally. According to Rowe, hospital staff ignored her requests to speak with doctors about her partner's medical history.

The hospital agreed to change its visitation policy regarding LGBT patients and their families following a demand letter sent by the American Civil Liberties and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"While an apology would have been nice, we are pleased that this incident will help put an end to unfair treatment of LGBT patients and their family members," Rowe said in an NCLR statement. "But while the policy changes are extremely welcome and necessary, this incident has also underscored that, ultimately, allowing same-sex couples to marry is the only way to guarantee the respect and recognition that will prevent this kind of treatment."

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