The American Medical Association (AMA) has labelled the US government’s anti-gay policies as being bad for the health of gays and lesbians.

The organisation, which is the largest body representing doctors in the US, said that bans on same-sex marriage or civil unions across the US may lead to health care disparities for same-sex couples and their families.

It also said that the government’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, barring gays and lesbians from serving in the military, should be dropped as it violates doctor-patient confidentiality and may lead to soldiers not being open about health problems. Military doctors are currently legally bound to report their patients’ homosexuality to their superiors.

The AMA passed the two resolutions on the last day of its biannual meeting in Houston on Tuesday.

In a statement, Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, praised the AMA for it position on the contentious issues.

“While opponents of marriage equality and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights try to stigmatize our relationships and limit our access to health benefits and other economic safety nets, the AMA is making it clear that these discriminatory policies pose significant, real-life threats to the health and well-being of thousands and thousands of people across the country,” she said.

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