There is no law that allows gay people who are partners/lovers to make decisions for them when they are ill or that they are their legal guardians, on the books. But guess what, if you are living with someone, no matter how long and you are heterosexual, you may be in the same boat as us. During a recent visit to a nursing home (Jacaranda Manor in St. Petersburg) where my lover of nine years is currently staying, I was told that in order to make decisions for him I would have to go to court and be declared as his legal guardian. The decision? Which hospital he was to be sent to. He is being treated for HIV/AIDS and uses that doctor as his primary care as well and that doctor has privileges at one hospital (Morton Plant, in Clearwater) while the nursing home wanted to send him to a hospital where their doctor (who doesn't treat my lover but only writes prescriptions based on information in his chart) has privileges (St. Petersburg General, St. Petersburg). Both he and I insisted that he be taken to one hospital and yet they did as they wished. And I am not talking about a life threatening emergency, I could understand their reluctance if it were, but it was to get x-rays on his nose to see if there was anything broken in there when he fell in an over medicated stupor.
I was NOT told that if I were hetero that I could insist on where he would get the best care so I am left to believe that it would work the same to an unmarried straight couple as well. Meanwhile, I can't bring him home and I fear for his life where he is. So if you hear anything about gay marriage I urge you to think about what I have said here before you make your decision as to what place you would like to find yourself. Your comments are welcome.