Love, Loss, and Bravery

The loss of a spouse is devastating—all the more so if you are denied the rights that many couples take for granted.

Chris Beyrer, the Desmond M. Tutu Professor of Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, shares the pain of losing two great loves in a moving Lancet commentary.

Of his struggle to get dignified treatment for his first partner, before marriage equality in the US, he writes: “Those injustices, his unnecessary suffering, have not lost their sting for me three decades later.”

Yet for most LGBTQI people around the world—including most of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East—rights for same-sex partners are a distant dream.

“As health-care providers, ... we have a human responsibility to do what we can to reduce suffering. And that includes extending our full compassion and care to same sex couples as they face serious illness,” he writes.

The Lancet (commentary)

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