Activists point to the case of Patrick Atkins, a partly disabled Indiana man whose allegedly anti-gay family is refusing to allow his partner of more than 25 years to visit him, as yet another example of the need for equal marriage rights to protect same-sex couples. Atkins' longtime partner, Brett Conrad, recently petitioned successfully in the state's appeals court for the right to visit Atkins, but did not win guardianship; the family is appealing that ruling.

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