'Banning a loved one at the hospital room door does nothing to serve Maryland's greater good,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign condemned Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's veto today of two bills that would have extended limited protections to same-sex couples.
"Banning a loved one at the hospital room door does nothing to serve Maryland's greater good," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "These bills had bipartisan support and were extremely limited in the protections they would have offered same-sex couples. In vetoing the bills, Governor Ehrlich has signaled a serious disregard for the safety of Maryland families."
In an interview with The Gazette, a spokesperson for Ehrlich hinted that he would veto the Medical Decision Making Act because of amendments that the Maryland Legislature defeated.
"Equality Maryland and the bills' sponsors sat down with people on both sides of the aisle in attempts to pass them with broad support," said Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, the statewide gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy group. "The Medical Decision Making Act, in particular, was a very open process, and we would have welcomed the governor's input on this effective measure that would have protected thousands of Maryland families. Clearly, we were amenable to strengthening the bill as we accepted several amendments throughout the process."
"HRC will work with Equality Maryland to override the vetoes on these critical protections," added Solmonese. "The group has done great work on behalf of Maryland families and the Legislature should ensure these protections become law."
The Medical Decision Making Act would create a statewide life partnership registry for unmarried couples and extend 11 rights to registered couples, including the right to hospital visitation, to make medical decisions on behalf of a partner, to make funeral arrangements and to share a room in a nursing home. The Transfer & Recordation Tax Exemption would exempt domestic partners from the transfer and recordation tax that is paid when one partner is added or removed to the deed of the other partner's property on the home they share.
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