America's largest organization of physicians and medical students has
issued declarations against the military's "don't ask, don't tell"
policy and state same-sex marriage bans.
The American Medical Association declared on Tuesday that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy creates an ethical dilemma for gay service members and the doctors who treat them, reports the Associated Press.
Servicemembers United -- the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops, veterans, and their allies -- came out in support of the AMA's resolution against DADT.
"Today, the American Medical Association took a principled stance against a law that clearly has a negative impact on military healthcare, military medical providers, and our troops," Alexander Nicholson, founder and executive director of Servicemembers United, said in a press release following the vote. "This is yet another nail in the coffin of the flawed and outdated 'don't ask, don't tell' law, and it should send a strong message to those who continue to blindly claim that this policy works."
The AMA worked with Servicemembers United on the resolution for nearly six months, including inviting Servicemembers United's executive director to the AMA's interim meeting in Houston this week to brief its LGBT Advisory Committee and to testify before the relevant Reference Committee on the "don't ask, don't tell" law as it relates to health care issues.
In an interim policy meeting in Houston, the AMA also voted to declare that same-sex marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay and lesbian couples and their children. Furthermore, the organization holds, same-sex marriage bans leave gays and lesbians vulnerable to exclusion from health care benefits, including health insurance and family and medical leave rights.
The new AMA policy on same-sex marriage stops short of opposing the bans.