President Obama mandated visitation rights for same-sex couples Thursday.
The decision marks Obama's first visible form of change regarding same-sex rights and equality in the United States.
The Washington Post reports Obama has been advised to make change in small steps, such as this, to achieve overall equality.
A poll in the New York Times says eight out of 10 people think same-sex couples deserve the same rights straight couples get when their partners are in the hospital.
The New York Times also reported the socially conservative Family Research Council stated they have "no objection" to individuals needing to make decisions with whomever they wish.
The unexpected move allegedly came after White House officials heard a story about a lesbian couple kept apart during a stay at a hospital and one of them collapsed and died.
"In this day and age, basic rights are deemed to be accorded to everyone. This allows him to give something to his base without worrying too much about backlash on the other side," Whit Aryes, a Republican pollster from Virginia said.
But gay rights activists are still wanting more.
"This is a small and welcome step forward," Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said.
"This isn't about just hospital visitation but the full measure of protections that families seek and want, and the real answer here is to end the exclusion on marriage."