In the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down decisions in U.S. vs. Windsor and Hollingsworth vs. Perry, health groups chimed in support of the rulings -- and gay marriage.
American Psychological Assn. president Donald Bersoff said in a statement Wednesday that the ruling in U.S. vs. Windsor, which in overturning a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act gives married gay couples equal access to the federal benefits that straight married couples receive, was "a triumph for social science and recognition of the basic dignity of all American citizens."
The organization's briefs, which also had the backing of the American Medical Assn. and the California Medical Assn., cited scientific evidence that "the psychological and social benefits of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships," and argued that there was "no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation's leading group of pediatricians, issued a statement Wednesday arguing that allowing gay couples to marry is "the best way to guarantee benefits and security" for their kids. The pediatric group, which also had signed on to the psychologists' amicus briefs, recently issued a policy statement recommending legalization of gay marriage.
"If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond," Dr. Thomas K. McInerny, president of the pediatric academy, in Wednesday's statement, "it's in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so."
The American Sociological Assn., which had also written briefs in support of gay marriage, issued a statement that also emphasized children's well-being. Members of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also praised the rulings, noting that women in same-sex marriages would now have access to health and financial benefits that should improve their health and well-being and mark "a great step forward."
Read the Los Angeles Times for ongoing coverage of the Supreme Court's gay marriage rulings.