How Gay Marriage Affects Our Children's Health

family shadowIn most cases, getting married is about love and family. It's a beautiful thing. Your husband or wife becomes your family and sometimes children are added to that family. And what's also beautiful is we can become moms and dads in many ways -- birth, adoption, with the help of a surrogate. I think we can all agree on that. But, sadly, we can't all agree about the rights of same-sex couples when it comes to marriage. Same-sex couples have kids. I believe same-sex couples should also be able to get married if they want to. It's about family -- it's about the kids. It's about marriage equality.

Which is why I'm thrilled the American Academy of Pediatrics came out in favor of same sex marriages. And it's about time this side of the "issue" is brought up. The AAP says it's beneficial for the children's development and mental and physical health. Why would anyone want to interfere with that? Oh wait. Is that a diss to single parents?


The AAP's Dr. Benjamin Siegel said:

Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage. 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.

I think some parents will find issue with Siegel's first sentence with his words that marriage provides security to help kids thrive. This isn't 100 percent true. Marriage isn't the only way to provide permanent security and allow kids to thrive. But some same-sex couples do have issues with insurance and federal support if there isn't a civil union. The AAP's Dr. Ellen Perrin added:

AAP has long been an advocate for all children, and this updated policy reflects a natural progression in the academy's support for families. If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it's in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so.

This is a delicate issue. I know marriage isn't for everyone. It isn't even for everyone who has kids. But I think the real message here is for those who want to get married -- they should be able to get married. It's love and it's beneficial for kids when their parents are wanting to marry. What if a same-sex couple wants to get married and their kids are old enough to ask why they can't? How do you explain that? It shouldn't even be an issue that has to be explained. 

This is about equality. Our children deserve to live in a world that knows and displays equality for all. One way to do just that is to let all people have the right to be married.

What do you think of the AAP's statement on same-sex marriage?


Image via roland/Flickr

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