White House event has Washington state tie-in

Posted by Venice Buhain on thenewstribune.com:

"Lacey resident Janice Langbehn, whose family story sparked a presidential order that hospitals recognize the rights of gay couples, was an invitee to a White House Pride Month celebration Tuesday night.

... "'I am honored to be invited to the White House and to have had the opportunity to tell my family’s story,' Langbehn said in a statement issued by the law firm representing her, Lambda Legal. 'While none of this will bring Lisa back, it will hopefully ensure that the next gay couple who arrives at the door of an emergency room will not be kept apart.'

"Langbehn and her partner, Lisa Pond, who had been together for 18 years, were vacationing in Florida in 2007 when Pond collapsed with a brain aneurysm.

"Langbehn believes the couple’s sexual orientation was a factor when the medical staff at Jackson Memorial Hospital declined to allow Langbehn and three of their children to be by Pond’s side. A hospital spokeswoman last year declined to comment on the case but said the hospital has nondiscrimination policies, and decisions on visitation are made for medical reasons. Langbehn’s lawsuit against the hospital was dismissed last year, but their story inspired the White House to issue an order that hospitals allow same-sex couples the same visitation rights as other family members."

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