Wow. Just as Melanie and I begin to make legal arrangements that would protect our right to visit and make decisions for each other in the hospital when we are in states other than Iowa, I end up attending a conference that underscores the importance of full marriage equality at the state and federal levels.
So many (too many) examples of couples who were denied the right to visit dying partners (even with durable/medical power of attorney AND civil unions or domestic partnerships) in the hospital because they were not legally married. I can't do the stories justice, but I do recommend that you visit Garden State Equality at http://www.gardenstateequality.org/ to hear/see the couples for yourself. On the main webpage are commercials and compilations of video footage from families denied insurance coverage and access to medical decision making without "marriage" recognition. I wish I could say that New Jersey's examples are isolated ones, but I've heard similar stories from couples in Washington State and Oregon as well.