Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AMA Supports Gay Marriage & Ending DADT

The American Medical Association gave a 1-2 punch of support Tuesday, officially calling for an end to "don't ask, don't tell," and stating that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities because gay couples are less likely to be fully covered by health insurance.

As reported by the AP, the policy decisions by the nation's largest organization of doctors, occurred during an interim policy-making meeting in Houston. It comes one day after the AMA endorsed the health care reform bill passed by the House. However, unlike that endorsement, do not expect the White House to be trumpeting, or pointing to, these new policy statements.

On coming out against same-sex marriage bans, The AP reported,
Same-sex families lack other benefits afforded married couples, including tax breaks, spouse benefits under retirement plans and Social Security survivor benefits — all of which can put their health at risk, according to an AMA council report presented at the meeting.

On the governmental ban on gays serving openly in the military, it was reported that,
Doctors who pushed the group to oppose "don't ask, don't tell" say the policy forcing gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret has "a chilling effect" on open communication between gays and their doctors.

"A law which makes people lie to their physicians is a bad law," said Dr. David Fassler, a University of Vermont psychiatry professor who attended the meeting.

We in the glbt community should find a way to thank the AMA for doing their part to help us in our struggle for full civil rights. It would be a good idea to refer to their support when we are advocating in support of both gay marriage and ending dadt.

You can learn more about the AMA at their website.

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