“Protect the children,” the opponents of civil marriage for same-sex couples plead. The implication is that gay and lesbian parents will somehow harm or disadvantage their own children if allowed to marry.
In contrast, over 30 child and family advocacy organizations from across Washington state have endorsed the approval of Referendum 74 to defend the state’s freedom to marry law. Why? Because marriage promotes the health and well-being of all children, not just the children of heterosexual couples.
The endorsing organizations, which work with tens of thousands of families and children statewide, include the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP), the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, and the Children’s Alliance.
These leading family advocates have concluded that giving all parents the ability to marry helps protects children and families in Washington. They are committed to the health, safety and general well-being of children and their families, and provide services ranging from medical and mental health care, to legal and legislative advocacy, and to primary and secondary education.
“There is growing evidence in the medical literature that marriage has health benefits both for the married adults and especially for their children,” said Dr. Anne Montgomery, president of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians. “The Washington Academy of Family Physicians supports Referendum 74 because we work for optimal health for all families.”
Another endorsing organization is WCAAP, which has a long history of advocating for Washington’s children, their families, and their healthcare providers. Nearly 1000 pediatricians, including general pediatricians, sub-specialists and hospitalists, are members of the WCAAP.
“The WCAAP joins the national American Academy of Pediatrics and a number of other state chapters in concluding that marriage promotes equal health, developmental opportunities, and the general well-being of all children,” said F. Curt Bennett, MD, president of WCAAP.
“One of the core values of this state is promoting healthy, strong children and families because all children deserve stable, loving parents,” said Rep. Ruth Kagi, chair of the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee, which considers issues relating to early learning and a broad array of other issues affecting children and families. “After looking at this issue for many years, and hearing from constituents all across our districts about why marriage matters to their families, supporting the freedom to marry was an easy vote for me and many of my colleagues.”
“Children of same-sex couples are in schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods throughout Washington,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance. “We know that all parents want a safe and supportive environment for their children to grow up in. That is why the Children’s Alliance encourages all voters to vote Approve on Referendum 74 and affirm the value of every family and every child.”
“These leading advocates recognize that in Washington, we care about all children, and that means supporting the freedom to marry, which helps protect parents and their families from whatever may come their way,” said WUM campaign chair Lacey All. “They know that Washington’s kids grow up in all kinds of families and that supporting Referendum 74 means valuing and respecting all families.”
Children and family advocacy organizations that endorse Approve Referendum 74 and the freedom to marry include:
AFT Washington, a state federation affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Kent Youth and Family Services
National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Washington Chapter
Parent Trust for Washington Children
Pierce County Human Services Coalition
Washington Academy of Family Physicians
Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Washington State Nurses Association
Washington State Psychological Association
Washington State Public Health Association
For a full list of endorsers, visit Coalition Partners.