American Pediatricians Weigh in on Same-Sex Marriages; Announce They Support it for Health & Well-Being of Kids

The United States' most influential pediatrician's group - The American Academy of Pediatricians - says that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry in order to help ensure the health and well-being of their children.

The AAP published their new policy online on Thursday, and in it the doctors cite research that shows that the parents' sexual orientation has no effect on a child's development. The academy says that children fare just as well in gay or straight families when they are nurturing and financially and emotionally stable, and believes that a two-parent marriage is best equipped to provide such an environment.

The AAP's policy states that if a child has two gay parents who choose to marry, "it is in the best interests of their children that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so."

The policy also cites reports which indicate that nearly 2 million U.S. children are being raised by gay parents, many of which are in states that do not permit gays to marry.

The AAP announced its position on the issue of gay marriage on Thursday, with officials from the group stating that they wanted to make the academy's views known prior to two gay marriage cases being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

The AAP has in the past joined other national groups, including the American Medical Association, in supporting one of the Supreme Court cases, which contends that the Defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional. The AAP has also supported adoption by gay parents.

Other national health groups that support gay marriage include the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Nursing, and the American Psychological Association.