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American Pediatricians Come Out in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Parents

Update Date: Mar 21, 2013 02:18 PM EDT

Currently, the Supreme Court is considering the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1990s law that defined marriage at the federal level as an act between a man and a woman. As a result, many voices have entered the fray, jostling to have their voices heard about same-sex marriage. Recently, a surprising group has stepped up to make an announcement: the largest American group of pediatricians. Representing 60,000 American pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued a report saying that same-sex marriage is in the best interest of the country's children.

The study does not say that it is entering the arena of politics, simply saying that they care about the best interest of children's health. They also say that the timing is purely coincidental; Dr. Ben Siegel, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and the statement's co-author, said to Healthland that the academy has been considering data on the subject for five years.

"Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage," Dr. Siegel said in a statement. "The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children." 

AAP has released two policy positions on the matter, in 2002 and 2010. This recent statement indicates the latest evolution on the position. They say that the board voted unanimously on the position, saying that data shows that parents' sexual orientation does not negatively affect children's development, behaviorally or emotionally. According to USA Today, studies show that, regardless of parents' sexual orientation, children develop best when they are wanted, parents share the duty of parenting and parents have grounded economic and social support.

The report says that 2 million American children are currently being raised by same-sex parents.

Other organizations have also come out in favor of marriage equality, like the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The statement also says that the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstretrics and Gynecology and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have come out in favor gay parents.

The report was published in the journal Pediatrics.

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