Whenever people get caught up in the abstract rejection of marriage equality -- almost always with religious "justification" (if the haters can put "marriage" in quotes when referring to my relationship...) -- I think it's important to remind them that the denial of equal civil rights has real consequences on actual human beings. Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal brought that home once again with a great piece yesterday, in which he details the struggles of his gay brother and the brother's partner of 30 years when one of them was hospitalized with a serious infection.
"Having just been told, at 3 a.m., that his partner of three decades might die within hours, Mike Brittenback was told something else: Before rushing to Bill's side, he needed to collect and bring with him documents proving his medical power of attorney. This indignity, unheard-of in the world of heterosexual marriage, is a commonplace of American gay life.
Frantic, Mike tore through the house but could not find the papers. He would need to retrieve them from a safe-deposit box. Which was at a bank. Which did not open until 9 a.m."