Wednesday, March 13, 2013
News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians
AMA, others file brief opposing Defense of Marriage Act
As the Supreme Court of the United States prepares to hear arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act, justices will be aided by an amicus brief submitted by the AMA, the American Psychiatric Association and several other medical societies.
The brief relies, in part, on AMA policy that denying civil marriage based on sexual orientation is discriminatory and imposes a harmful stigma on gay and lesbian individuals, couples and their families, and that exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households.
Signed into law in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples legally married in their respective states. Because of the law, same-sex married couples are ineligible for many of the benefits offered to heterosexual couples, including collecting social security benefits in the event their spouse dies.
U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli also submitted a brief that called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it violates "the fundamental guarantee of equal protection." As Solicitor General, Verrilli presents the Obama administration's views to the Supreme Court.
AMA offers resources on GLBT health, including webcast for physicians
Clinicians who are competent in care for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) patients and are looking to better meet that population's often complex health care needs can turn to the AMA for guidance. The AMA offers a variety of resources to help physicians navigate GLBT health care issues, including a new online compilation of some of the top resources and literature.
These resources include the webcast, "Meeting the Health Care Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People." Sponsored by the AMA and the Fenway Institute, the webcast is a comprehensive presentation on GLBT health care in America. This resource is filled with information on caring for GLBT patients, the national GLBT health care landscape and the future of GLBT health care.