Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday requiring marriage equality in all 50 states, I can throw this piece of paper away. Just in time, too, since it’s falling apart.
I’ve been carrying it in my wallet for 27 years. Melissa had one as well, but after running her wallet through the washing machine one too many times, her piece of paper disintegrated a few years ago.
The papers we both carried were legal documents: Medical Authorization and Power of Attorney. Because we were not legally married, we did not have the ability to make medical decisions for each other in the case of an emergency. ..
…I hereby appoint Melissa…to make all decisions of my behalf regarding my medical condition…
Not only could we not make decisions for each other, but we could be denied access to each other in the hospital. The thought of Melissa—or me—being hurt and in the hospital, and unable to be together terrified me.
…To give Melissa first priority in visitation in the event I am confined in a medical or custodial institution and am unable to express a preference…
So we’ve carried these legal documents, changing the contact information every time we moved.
It’s such a relief to think that I can now walk into a hospital in any state, announce that I am Melissa’s wife, and be allowed to see her.
But do they ask for proof? Do straight couples carry around wallet-sized copies of their marriage certificate? 🙂
Can I just say ‘I’m her wife’ and be believed?
Hmmm. Talk about an undiscovered country… Got a lot to learn…