Just days before the US Supreme Court started hearing two cases related to same-sex marriage this week, the American Academy of Pediatricians came out in support of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. From the AAP’s news release:
“Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage,” said Benjamin Siegel, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and a co-author of the policy 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.”
There is extensive research showing that parents’ sexual orientation has no impact on their children’s well-being. In essence, your ability to love your kid or screw up your kid is unrelated to your own sexual orientation.
Actually, research shows allowing same-sex marriage “results in tangible health benefits for the couples involved, their children and even taxpayers as a whole.” Same-sex marriage increases access to health care and improves emotional well-being. As a result, children, individuals and families are healthier when parents are allowed to marry.
They’re also more economically secure. Because this is what happens when couples can’t marry:
When Marvin Burrows’ partner of 51 years, Bill Swenor, passed away, Burrows felt as if he lost everything. “I lost my lifelong partner, my home, our animals, income, my health insurance, and even my bed and furniture all in one fell swoop,” he said.
First, Burrows was dropped from Swenor’s employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Then, he not only stopped receiving the $2,000 a month in Social Security benefits he received through his husband, but he was denied spousal survivor benefits from the agency. It also took three years before Burrows could gain access to Swenor’s pension plan benefits, leaving him with just $800 a month to survive on for years.
Forcing seniors to lose everything and live in poverty. Denying children health insurance and security. Relegating certain people to second-class citizenship. That’s what the Defense of Marriage Act, California’s Proposition 8, and North Carolina’s Amendment One were all about.
The US Supreme Court, on the other hand, is supposed to be about equality and protecting the rights of the minority. We will see if the Justices live up to those ideals.
Because love is love.