Washington Post
June 19, 2012
An increasing number of U.S. hospitals have adopted policies that explicitly ban discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, according to a report to be released Tuesday. An annual survey by the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, found that over 95 percent of more than 400 hospitals and clinics included sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies and nearly 80 percent included gender identity in those policies. Additionally, more than 65 percent of inpatient hospitals had explicit policies granting equal visitation rights to same-sex couples and gayparents. The results of the voluntary survey, taken last year, reflect the increased prominence of nondiscriminatory care, the advocacy group said. In 2010, President Obama mandated that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians, and new rules were subsequently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last year, the Joint Commission, the largest accrediting organization for U.S. hospitals, also issued new standards specifically prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.