The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Your endorsement of same-sex marriage perpetuates discrimination against unmarried patients
While the Congress has taken a step forward in recognizing that same-sex partnerships deserve the same employer-provided healthcare benefits as married ones, the endorsement does not advocate for "all patients" as claimed in the statement. Until unmarried people have the same access to healthcare, at the same rates, as couples, there is no equal healthcare coverage. And the Congress takes this one step further by supporting marital status discrimination in the form of the benefits of Social Security and rights to shared property enjoyed by the legally married.
- President, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD
Your statement, “As ob-gyns, we must be strong advocates for all of our patients’ health and well-being,” is immediately invalidated as you endorse not only same-sex marriage but marriage itself. You perpetuate the acceptance of marital status discrimination by promoting the legal and financial benefits enjoyed by married couples. Not everyone chooses to or can marry, and until those people have equal access to healthcare (at equal rates), equal employee benefits, and equal rights to shared property, there is no equality for all in this country.
Shame on your for making a general statement about the health benefits of marriage without citing a definitive study on the subject. You can't do that, because such a study does not exist. Multiple studies have shown that unmarried people are just as healthy as married, and that marriage in fact introduces unique stressors not found in unmarried lives.
Yes, anyone who wants to get married should be able to do so. But marriage is not the only legitimate outcome for committed relationships and it certainly should not provide benefits not available to 112 million unmarried people in the U.S. The next time you tackle the issue of healthcare equality, please do consider ALL of your patients.
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