AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NURSING DECLARES SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY, LGBTQ RIGHTS
Board unanimously adopts historic position statements
Declaring that “Marriage equality will contribute to achieving access to high-quality, comprehensive, culturally sensitive, dignified and respectful health care for all persons,” the American Academy of Nursing has added its voice to the growing majority of Americans who support marriage equality.
Academy’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a position statement, Support for Marriage Equality. Describing marriage equality as a human rights and civil rights issue, the Academy statement—jointly proposed by the Academy’s Expert Panel on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Health and Expert Panel on Cultural Competence—also points to clear links between marriage rights and health. It notes that the profession’s Code of Ethics compels nurses to “practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual.”
The Academy joins several other health professional organizations in publicly supporting marriage equality, including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers. President Barack Obama also announced his support for marriage equality in May of this year, as did major civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In adopting this position statement, the Academy announced its opposition to laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, its support for efforts to overturn or repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and its intent to bring nursing’s perspective to ongoing discussion and debate on this issue.
The Academy Board also unanimously approved a Position Statement on Health Care for Sexual Minority and Gender Diverse Populations, proposed by the Expert Panel on LGBTQ Health. The statement declares the Academy’s opposition to any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and its support for advocacy and establishment of policies and initiatives that enhance the health of LGBTQ people.
“The Academy is proud to take these clear stands in support of equality, fairness and respect,” explained Academy President Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN. “And we appreciate the leadership and expertise provided by our LGBTQ Health and Cultural Competence Expert Panels in moving the Academy toward these important and historic positions.”