The Sexual Continuum

Discussing all things related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) health

American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Same Sex Marriage

Pediatricians support legalization of same-sex marriage as best for children

Recently the major national organization that represents 60,000 Pediatricians in the US issued a report describing their support for civil marriage for same-sex couples.   This decision was not made based on opinion, but on more than 30 years of research that has shown that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma.  In fact, many studies have demonstrated the healthy development of children of same-gender couples.  Just like with opposite sex couples, children do best when the child is wanted, the parents have a commitment to shared parenting, and the parents have strong social and economic support. Dr. Ellen Perrin, co-author of the policy statement said, “If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it’s in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so.” 

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According to the policy statement, the organization “supports pediatricians advocating for public policies that help all children and their parents, regardless of sexual orientation, build and maintain strong, stable, and healthy families that are able to meet the needs of their children.”

You can download the technical report from the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Why did I lead by saying how many members there are in the American Academy of Pediatrics?  Because I was watching a Sunday morning news show last week and one of the members of the round table said there is disagreement among Pediatricians based on a statement from the American College of Pediatricians. This point went unchallenged by the moderator, which was disappointing because unlike the 60,000+ members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Pediatricians is a “small and marginal group” according to the National Association of Social Workers and was described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as “a political organization peddling homophobic junk-science.”  Unfortunately organizations do spring up with the purpose to confuse what is mainstream versus fringe science. Let’s be clear, the American Academy of Pediatricians support for same-sex marriage is the mainstream, scientifically-informed position.  

For more on same-sex marriage, read my previous post “Why not allow gay marriage?”

Dr. Mustanski is the Director of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at Northwestern University. You can follow the Sexual Continuum blog by becoming a fan on Facebook. He periodically live tweets from research conferences on sexuality and you can follow him @sexualcontinuum.

Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at Northwestern University and the founding Director of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program.

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