BY RICK VOAKES, MD
Bigotry is Bad for Children’s Health
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) is the major organized body of pediatricians in North America, with over 50,000 members. Recent information from the AAP about same sex marriage has been sent to all pediatricians, to educate them about the potential harm to children in opposing same-sex marriage.
The AAP is committed to calling attention to the inextricable link between the health and well-being of all children, the support and encouragement of all parents, and the protection of strong family relationships.
Here are some reasons why pediatricians should support gay marriage:
The family is the principal caregiver and the center of strength and support for children.
The 2000 Census found that same-gender couples are raising children in 96% of all US counties.
Considering these demographics, pediatricians all across the country are likely to care for children who have same-gender parents.
Children’s well-being relies in part on a complex blend of their own legal rights and the rights derived, under law, from their parents.
Children of same-gender parents often experience economic, legal, and familial insecurity as a result of the absence of legal recognition of their bonds to nonbiological parents.
In 2004, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified a total of 1138 federal statutory provisions in which marital status is the primary factor in determining or receiving rights, benefits and protections from the federal government.
Legal recognition of a spouse can increase the ability of adult couples to provide and care for one another and fosters a nurturing and secure environment for their children.
There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents.
Research has documented that there is no relationship between parent’s sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.
Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents.
Civil marriage can help foster financial and legal security, psychosocial stability, and an augmented sense of societal acceptance and support.
Children who are raised by civilly married parents benefit from the legal status granted to their parents.
Here is some helpful information on coping with our feelings about Gay and Lesbian issues: