A hospital in Nevada refused to accept a lesbian couple's domestic partnership, arguing that the women would need to secure power of attorney before making any medical decisions for each other.

When Brittney Leon, 26, checked into Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on July 20 due to complications in her pregnancy, her partner Terri-Ann Simonelli, 41, was told she could not make any necessary medical decisions without the additional paperwork, despite the fact that the women are in a domestic partnership.

In 2009, Nevada approved the law which gives gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage with the exception that employers are not required to provide health care benefits to family members of a gay worker.

“I am usually a big fighter,” Simonelli told the paper. “But I was so emotionally upset. It was a very bad day for us. We went there thinking we had the state's backing, and then we were told we were wrong. It didn't matter that we were registered domestic partners.”

Leon lost her baby and Simonelli said there were long periods of time when she was not informed of her spouse's condition.

“We understand there are people out there who are not going to welcome us with open arms,” Simonelli said. “That's fine, but when it comes to a business, like a hospital, treat us fairly. When you step into a hospital, you are in a very vulnerable state.”

Spring Valley Hospital had no problem accepting Leon's insurance, which is provided through Simonelli's job.