Study: When it Comes to Gay Discrimination, Miami Hospitals Are Behind the Times

Let's say, for argument's sake, you are a big dumb homophobe. If you happen to work at a hospital in Miami-Dade, you should totally celebrate! You're free to give gay parents the boot, turn away transgender folks, and block life partners from their dying loved ones.

Reckon you found the right county.

So says a study released yesterday by the Human Rights Campaign, a group that lobbies for equality. The upsetting new data shows most Miami-Dade hospitals don't have adequate non-discrimination policies for LGBT people.

Of the 11 health centers surveyed, only two had "fully inclusive" non discrimination policies. In four cases, the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" weren't mentioned at all in the patient's bill of rights.

Among the worst ranked: Baptist Hospital, Cedars Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Jackson Memorial Hospital ranked best. The facility shifted towards a gay friendly policy after a tragic 2007 case in which a lesbian was kept from the bedside of her partner of 18 years.

For gay rights advocates, hospital visitation rights is one of the biggest battles of the moment.

The study surveyed 200 of the largest hospitals nationwide. Of the 38 "top performing" hospitals, 29 were in California. Three were in Massachusetts. Two were in New York.

None were in Florida.

"We urge all healthcare facilities to move toward greater inclusiveness," says HRC president Joe Solmonese. "Sooner rather than later, that's where America is headed."

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