Protecting Marriage Rights

As an advocate for children and their families, MNAAP believes that extending the freedom to marry will have positive consequences for the health and well-being of children and adolescents in Minnesota. The chapter stands by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ position of the right of every child and family to the legal, financial, and psychosocial security that results from having legally recognized parents who are committed to each other and to the welfare of their children.

“This boils down to a child health issue. As pediatricians, we have a responsibility to show concern for all children, youth and young adults. By supporting the freedom to marry, we are letting our LGBT patients and their families know that they are supported by their pediatricians. Many of them are already at increased risk of bullying, violence and suicide and extending their extending the freedom to marry will help reduce the social stigma they face every day.” — Robert M. Jacobson, MD, FAAP, president of MNAAP.

As for the children who are raised by same-gender parents, MNAAP notes there is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research has documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. Rather, children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family than by the particular structural form it takes.

The family is the principal caregiver and the center of strength and support for all children. Specifically, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes the following:

  1. LGBT adolescents and their families need to know they are supported by their pediatricians and their communities.
  2. Marriage amendments that limit the freedom to marry may lead to an increase in bullying and violence against LGBT youth and greater intolerance for them and their families. These children are already more prone to bullying and suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
  3. Nationally, nearly one-quarter of all same-sex couples are raising children and eight percent of them are raising children with special health care needs. There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research has documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. Rather, children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family than by the particular structural form it takes.

 

Policy Statement

Office-Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013

If you are an MN-AAP member and have questions or would like more information about MN-AAP’s position, please contact cairns@mnaap.org

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