Well, it is no joke from the days of the West Wing that if POTUS calls, you take it.  Fortunately today I had a small window of a heads up from Lambda Legal – those people who have been in this fight for dignity since nearly the beginning.

And sure enough at 4:32 Pacific time, my cell rings, it says unknown – I was briefed to expect that – b/c what does the phone from Air Force 1 actually come up as?  A gentleman introduced himself and asked if I had time to speak with the President.  This is where I had been coached to not assume it was a crank call or a telemarketer.  And sure enough the next voice I heard was the President himself.  Humility surrounds me and the next 3 minutes of my life.  For the past 3 years I have been speaking at large and small events – posting here on the blog and have been saying over and over – that holding someone’s hand as they die is NOT a GAY right it’s a HUMAN right – and today – President Barack Obama agreed with me.  He knew Lisa’s name, and he knew our story and offered the long-awaited apology – that Jackson Memorial STILL refuses to give – why is that? – the President could.

In those short minutes of speaking with our President, it was clear he got the issue, and now in reading his memorandum, he understands what happened to Lisa, the kids and me was wrong on many level  – especially on the HUMAN level.  None of this brings Lisa back.  But what it does do – for the next gay couple – is that hopefully if your partner is dying you wont be locked behind a door for 8hours as they slip from this earth and are not allowed to say that final goodbye.

Thank you to Lambda Legal for so bravely taking our case, and in our loss and dismissal more has come than winning the largest jury settlement could have made the changes that happened today.  I said at the time of Lisa’s death with one stroke of a pen, the coroner in FL took away our 18yrs by listing Lisa as single, never married, but today with a stroke of the pen, the President recognized – we were a couple deserving of all the same rights of straight Americans.

So thank you Mr. President, I would gladly take your call any day.

I know that Lambda Legal has started a fundraising campaign over today’s historic events.  Please if you have any money to give to non profits – Lambda legal is the one.

16 thoughts on “POTUS

  1. Samantha

    Obviously I sent you an email about this order before you’d posted this. As for your response to me, maybe I am easily impressed but there is no part of the following sentence that doesn’t sound totally glamorous to me.

    “The president called me from air force one as he was issuing the memo.”

    We will get there, we will overcome.

  2. Pingback: Obama Orders Hospital Visitation for LGBT Couples; Janice Langbehn Reacts | Asterisk

  3. Debbie Schow

    Congratulations, on this victory, you are a great Mom, and a terrific fighter for human -civil rights. Keep on going strong, and best of health and good wishes to you and all the family.
    Debbie (formely of DSHS)

  4. Pingback: Lambda Legal and YAY! « Scheherezade in the palace

  5. Anon

    I just want you to know that a straight lady in Florida is completely outraged by the horrific injustice that was dealt out to your family. It’s about time that some change has come. It is long overdue. I bet Lisa would be so proud of you for speaking up. I know I am. You are such a good and compassionate example for the children in how strongly you stand for love, honesty, justice and equality. I know Lisa is still gone though, and you must miss her terribly. I’m so sorry for your loss and for the additional and unnecessary pain inflicted upon you and your family. It was a cruelty and I hope it won’t happen to anyone else now. I wish the best for you and your children.

  6. Barbara Bull


    I saw you on 360 today, and was so glad to hear of Obama’s call and new memorandum. I’m so sorry for your loss, and very thankful for what you have done so that all of us can be protected from this kind of discrimination. In just one day history was changed in the US. I appreciate all your work and dedication to this cause, and your refusal to give up! This is an incredible change for the US. My partner and I live in Japan, and when I was in a Japanese psychiatric unit with depression 10 years ago, my Japanese partner was allowed to visit me. They made a very big exception in my case, but it was extremely important to me at that time. So what you and others have brought about is huge. I wish you and your family the best. Barbara

  7. Sara

    I read the article in the New York Times this morning about President Obama’s memo and about your family, and was brought to utter tears in the office. I’m so glad that you are starting to get the apologies and response that you deserve. I am 29 and my partner and I have been been together for 5 years. We are lucky enough to live in a state that has civil unions (NJ), but this is a right that shouldn’t be dependent on the chance of what state you live in. I’m so encouraged by today’s news.

  8. Beelzebot

    I read about your story a while ago, and was saddened by it. Congratulations, and, as a white, straight male, thank you. I’ve plenty of LGBT friends, and am glad to see this step in the right direction.

    And, whilst this may sound harsh, the intent is not that. I’m glad that this happened to you, as you had the strength to be the catalyst that was required for this change. I’m saddened that it had to happen, and am sympathetic to your loss, but i’m glad that you were able to take that injustice and work it into strength.


  9. my thoughts are with you. how awful that you (and who knows how many others) have had to suffer so much for such a simple gesture of acknowledgment. thank you for speaking out and fighting back.

  10. Janice and kids,
    I know that more is needed but aren’t you totally psyched that the President of The United States of America knows your story and made a change that will make a difference for tens of thousands of people for eternity. I posted on my Vox an update and thanked all the people I know who never stopped writing or yelling about what happened to you. Janice, this is a legacy for Lisa but it is just as much of a legacy for you and the kids. I saw Anderson Cooper interview you and I almost couldn’t contain myself. We can never again just sit back and let injustices happen. You all provewd this and I am hugely proud of you for your sacrifices. On behalf of myself and my partner of 19 years, my lesbian sister and her three sons, I want to thank you personally and express great esteem in having gotten to correspond with you over the past couple of years. I’ll say this. Jackson Memorial is so sick of hearing from me but I am compelled to write one last letter,lol.

    Wow! You changed history and the lives of many will forever be changed for the better.


  11. Bec

    I was so very sorry to hear about your story. I can’t believe this happens in a civilized society and I would be thrilled to see it changed. Here in Australia our government recently moved to provide gay couples with all rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. Unfortunately they stopped short of allowing gay people to marry…but I think they’re now protected from situations like this.

  12. Kris

    I have been silently watching your story since it was first told on Rosie’s website. Words cannot express how impressed I am with you and the beautiful children that you and Lisa raised. My partner and I just adopted our first and it has made me more aware of the inequalities than ever before. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make my world and my son’s future better. Love to you and your children.

  13. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Langbehn-Pond Family

  14. I hardly leave a response, but i did some searching and wound up here POTUS | The Langbehn-Pond
    Family. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to
    mind. Is it just me or does it look as if like some of the comments
    come across like they are left by brain dead people? 😛 And,
    if you are writing on other online sites, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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