Nation's largest doctors' group joins efforts to repeal DADT
The Nation's largest doctors' group has joined efforts to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT), the United States military policy term about homosexuality in the U.S. military mandated by federal law that prohibits any homosexual or bi-sexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation while serving in the United States armed forces.
The American Medical Association also voted to declare that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.
Both gay-rights policies were adopted Tuesday at the AMA's 2009 Interim Meeting of House Delegates in Houston.
The AMA says the "don't ask, don't tell" law creates an ethical dilemma for gay service members and the doctors who treat them.
The other measure declares that marriage bans leave gays vulnerable to being excluded from health care benefits, including health insurance and family and medical leave rights.
The new AMA policy stops short of opposing the bans.
The AMA also voted to stick with its support for ongoing health reform efforts, while reiterating wariness over proposals that threaten doctors' pocketbooks and independence.
The action at the group's semiannual meeting in Houston could be seen as a vote of confidence for AMA leaders who voiced support for the $1.2-trillion, 10-year bill the U.S. House passed Saturday.
Several dissident doctor organizations within the AMA had urged the group to reverse its position and come out with a strong statement opposing Democratic-led reform efforts. Some urged the AMA's 544-member House of Delegates to vote to oppose any health overhaul that includes a public insurance option and Medicare payment cuts to doctors, and that excludes tort reform.
Another resolution stating that the AMA should oppose the just-passed House bill also was soundly defeated by a 350-167 vote, again showing delegate support for a previously-stated AMA stand.
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San Antonio, Texas, United States