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Medical Students Support Marriage Equality as Supreme Court Hears DOMA and Proposition 8 Cases

As the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments this week in two marriage equality cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States, the American Medical Student Association reiterates its longstanding support of marriage equality for same sex couples.

“The institution of marriage should be extended to any two individuals who love each other, period.” says Dr. Elizabeth Wiley, national president of AMSA-USA. “As the nation’s next generation of physicians, we must stand up for our patients. Marriage equality is a public health issue.”

Discriminatory policies and social practices are likely to perpetuate stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, resulting in negative health effects. According to a study done at Emory University, states' constitutional bans on gay marriage escalate new HIV infections at a rate comparable to four cases per 100,000 people.

This comes as there is growing support internationally among medical students for marriage equality. Earlier this month in Baltimore, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) General Assembly announced its support for marriage equality worldwide . This month, more than 1,000 medical students from across the globe gathered in Baltimore for the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) March Meeting.

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA - Australia) tabled the statement, calling on governments worldwide to recognize same-sex marriage. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA-USA) and the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) co-seconded the policy that was submitted to the IFMSA, which represents over 1.3 million medical students across more than 100 nations.

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