Minn. pediatrician group opposes marriage amendment

A group representing Minnesota pediatricians is opposed to a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would ban same-sex marriage.

The Board of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics voted unanimously to oppose the amendment, saying it would demean same-gender parents raising children, and lead to more bullying and hate crimes against gay and lesbian adolescents.

Supporters of the amendment defining marriage as a man and a woman argue children do best when raised by a mother and a father.

Robert Jacobson, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that argument is not born out by two decades' worth of research.

"This amendment really flies in the face of evidence that shows that children raised by couples of the same sex in committed relationships actually thrive and flourish just as much as children raised by couples of the opposite sex," Jacobson said.

Autumn Leva with Minnesota for Marriage, a group supporting the amendment, says the research cited by the pediatricians is flawed.

"Most Minnesotans understand in their heart of hearts that marriage really is between one man and one woman and that kids do need a mom and a dad," Leva said. "And I think for far too long, politics has really played in to the research that's been done on parenting."

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