Indiana State Medical Association “Marriage Equality and Public Health” Resolution

Last year, the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) passed, by an overwhelming majority voice vote at its annual convention, a resolution that the association (1) recognizes that exclusion from civil union or marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households; (2) will work to reduce health care disparities among members of same-sex households, including minor children; and (3) will support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.

Subsequent Indiana legislative efforts (HJR-6) calling for the so-called constitutional “gay marriage ban” threaten to directly contribute to health care disparities affecting same-sex households.  The practical adverse health consequences to be anticipated if a constitutional ban on nontraditional marriage were to become law in Indiana are summarized in an article of from William Buffie, M.D. that was published by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) in June of this year.

This year, Dr. Buffie is seeking adoption of a new resolution that calls on the ISMA to: (1) publicly oppose future Indiana General Assembly efforts promoting HJR-6; and (2) support legislative efforts in support of nontraditional marriage. The full text of the resolution can be found here.

We ask that you show your support for Dr. Buffie's new resolution at this year's ISMA convention by signing the petition below.

Dear ISMA Reference Committee Members and Delegates,

I strongly urge you to support Dr. Buffie’s “Marriage Equality and Public Health” resolution at this year’s ISMA convention. The research that he cites, as documented in his June 2011 American Journal of Public Health article titled “Public Health Implications of Same-Sex Marriage,” highlights a fundamental gap in the provision of optimal health care to an at-risk population -- our gay and lesbian community. His conclusions are consistent with my professional experience and personal observations. I believe it is our responsibility to our patients and our state to offer the education and leadership that promote dignity, respect, and equal treatment of all people in a fashion that will optimize mental and physical health outcomes.

I encourage the ISMA to take a public stand on this very important issue that will garner further attention and debate at the state legislature level over the next few years.

Thank you.
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The names and support received through this petition process will be shared by Dr. William Buffie, author of the above mentioned article, with the delegates to the Indiana State Medical Association who will be involved in the debate over this resolution.

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