SAN FRANCISCO--April 3, 2007--The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) and Equality California (EQCA) today praised the District 9 (California) branch of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG-IX) for its decision to support the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, a bill to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in California. The bill, AB 43, is authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by EQCA. ACOG-IX, which represents more than 5,000 physicians, submitted a letter of support to the California Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 28. ACOG-IX endorsement of the legislation does not represent the national ACOG organization.
Available scientific evidence clearly indicates that marriage could improve access to care and quality of care for women in committed, same-sex relationships, said Dr. Kate O'Hanlan, Past President of GLMA and author of a review of the applicable scientific literature contained in ACOG-IXs letter of support.
Marriage for same-sex couples could also lead to improved maternity care, improved social and legal supports for families, and improved health of children. AB 43 is important not only for the health of those in same-sex relationships, but also for a large and growing number of children that are being raised in households headed by same-sex parents.
The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and a number of other national and state health professional societies have taken similar action.
We hope that other medical societies in California will follow the ACOG-IX example, said Joel Ginsberg, Executive Director of GLMA. Many studies have demonstrated the health benefits of marriage for heterosexual men and women. We think that allowing same sex couples to marry is likely to improve the health of LGBT populations in the state of California.
"Scientific organizations have concluded that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry can negatively impact a person's physical and psychological health," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "We welcome support from ACOG-IX and the many other members of the medical community that stand behind marriage for same-sex couples and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community."
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will consider the bill on April 10.