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Sex and Politics

Why is it different if it’s a same-sex couple?

In one of today's articles, "Can Same-Sex Partner Claim Loss of Consortium?", we read about a same-sex relationship that lasted 25 years and ended in a needless death.  The surviving partner sues for benefits.  Nothing new there – happens all the time, right?  What makes this different is that it was a same-sex relationship and, for the most part, same-sex couples have to fight for the rights heterosexual couples are granted without thought.

I was chatting with some friends last night and they were relating a recent emergency room visit.  The female partner had fallen and needed immediate care.  The male partner took her to the emergency room.  I asked if anyone had questioned the relationship and was told no.  I asked if anyone asked the male partner for id.  The answer was "no".  Then they joked that the assumption was that they were married and that, in fact, hospital staff referred to him as Mr. X (his partner's name). 

Why should it be any different for any caring couple dealing with an emergency?  And, had this particular partner died as a result of her care, why shouldn't he (or anyone else!) be permitted to sue for the loss of his life partner?  Why is it even an issue?

No answer.  Just questions.