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Obama Grants Same-Sex Couples More Medical Rights

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The Obama administration will issue new rules to give gays and lesbians the right to visit hospitalized partners and make it easier for them to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners.

The new regulations, outlined in a memorandum released Thursday, will apply to any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid, The New York Times reported.

"Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindness and caring of a loved one at their sides," President Barack Obama said in the memorandum.

It will take time for the new rules, described by gay rights advocates as a major advance, to be drafted and implemented, the Times reported.

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