Task Force applauds American Medical Association's votes related to ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell,’ marriage bans

November 10, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 — The American Medical Association (AMA) today voted to join efforts to end the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and officially recognized that bans on civil marriage may lead to health care disparities for same-sex couples and their families.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force thanks the American Medical Association for taking these positions today. The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' military ban is good for no one. It is unhealthy for individuals and undermines the nation's military readiness by discriminating against patriotic men and women who are ready, willing and able to serve their country.

"We are also keenly aware of the economic hardships imposed by a lack of marriage equality. Same-sex couples are left highly vulnerable to disparities in health care by being excluded from civil marriage — the Task Force and thousands of same-sex couples and their families are well aware of this because we encounter these disparities every single day.

"While opponents of marriage equality and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights try to stigmatize our relationships and limit our access to health benefits and other economic safety nets, the AMA is making it clear that these discriminatory policies pose significant, real-life threats to the health and well-being of thousands and thousands of people across the country."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.