AMA says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ gay marriage bans leave LGBT families vulnerable

LGBTQ Nation


The nation’s largest doctors’ group has agreed to join efforts to repeal the military‘s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, Associated Press reports:

The American Medical Association says the ‘don’t ask, don’t-tell’ law creates an ethical dilemma for gay service members and the doctors who treat them.

The AMA also voted to declare that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.

Marriage bans leave gay and lesbian families vulnerable to being excluded from health care benefits, health insurance and family and medical leave rights, the AMA said.

Both gay-rights policies were adopted Tuesday at the AMA’s interim policy meeting in Houston.

The health disparities policy is based on evidence showing that married couples are more likely to have health insurance, and that the uninsured have a high risk for “living sicker and dying younger,” said Dr. Peter Carmel, an AMA board member.

Same-sex families lack other benefits afforded married couples, including tax breaks, spouse benefits under retirement plans and Social Security survivor benefits — all of which can put their health at risk, according to an AMA council report presented at the meeting.

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