The American Academy of Pediatrics today announced its support for marriage equality. The group said, simply, that legalizing same-sex marriage is good for children.
AAP’s more detailed explanation of its endorsement was in a policy statement called “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian,” which was published after an extensive review of the academic literature on the subject. The group concluded that legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians simplifies the adoption process and helps protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security.
Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign said today, “This announcement is the latest in a chain of evidence stretching back years that clearly states marriage equality is good for children. As today’s announcement by the AAP underscores, marriage equality’s adversaries simply have no evidence to back up their absurd claims to the contrary.”
AAP’s policy statement, posted on the Web, reads, “To promote optimal health and well-being of all children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports access for all children to (1) civil marriage rights for their parents and (2) willing and capable foster and adoptive parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation. The AAP has always been an advocate for, and has developed policies to support, the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. In so doing, the AAP has supported families in all their diversity, because the family has always been the basic social unit in which children develop the supporting and nurturing relationships with adults that they need to thrive. Children may be born to, adopted by, or cared for temporarily by married couples, nonmarried couples, single parents, grandparents, or legal guardians, and any of these may be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or of another orientation. Children need secure and enduring relationships with committed and nurturing adults to enhance their life experiences for optimal social-emotional and cognitive development. Scientific evidence affirms that children have similar developmental and emotional needs and receive similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders. If a child has 2 living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interests of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so, irrespective of their sexual orientation. If 2 parents are not available to the child, adoption or foster parenting remain acceptable options to provide a loving home for a child and should be available without regard to the sexual orientation of the parent(s).”
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