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GLMA Past-President Kate O’Hanlan Testifies in Support of Same-Sex Marriage in California

SAN FRANCISCO--April 10, 2007--Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Past President Kate O’Hanlan testified before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee in support of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, a bill to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the State of California. The bill, AB 43 is authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco and is endorsed by GLMA. Following Dr. O’Hanlan’s testimony, the committee passed the bill with a 7-3 vote, and it will now be considered by the full California State Assembly.

Dr. O’Hanlan presented research and policy statements from the nation’s leading medical associations in support of the measure, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (District IX),  the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. These organizations have endorsed equal access to civil marriage based upon the health benefits it would convey to LGBT individuals and their families.

“This nation’s medical associations specializing in mental health, psychological health, women’s health and family health have reviewed the research and issued policy statements endorsing equal access to civil marriage because it would improve mental and physical health and family health, and harm no one,” stated Dr. O’Hanlan. “The science is unambiguous and unanimous in endorsing the absolute equality of homosexuals, including marriage equality, for the betterment and health of Americans.”

She continued, “Our legislators know that consulting American’s scientific experts is the most ethical basis for establishing good public law…There is no ethical justification to ignore these experts in reviewing any law that so heavily impacts family, child, community, mental and school health.”

GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg commented: “We hope that Dr. O’Hanlan’s testimony will help move the debate about same-sex marriage away from rhetoric and towards a real examination of the real health outcomes associated with marriage equality,” said Ginsberg.

Dr. O’Hanlan’s remarks are available at www.glma.org/_data/n_0001/resources/live/OHanlan_Testimony_AB43.pdf.

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