As the national professional association for veterinarians in the United States, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) represents and supports a diverse community of veterinarians with unique perspectives. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the veterinary profession so we can best serve animals, the public and our members. Thus, it is always disheartening whenever potentially discriminatory legislation is being passed or considered anywhere.
All individuals have a right to live in peace, a right to be treated with dignity, a right to equality of opportunity, and a right to education. To this end, the AVMA supports the Equality Act of 2015, which is a federal bill that amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Veterinarians are compassionate, trustworthy and highly educated people. As it states in the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, as health professionals seeking to advance animal and public health, veterinarians should strive to confront and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination that may lead to impediments to access of quality animal and public health care for clients/patients. This also holds true for educational, training, and employment opportunities for veterinary colleagues/students and other members of the animal health care team. These forms of prejudice and discrimination include, but are not limited to, race; ethnicity; physical and mental abilities; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; parental status; religious beliefs; military or veteran status; political beliefs; geographic, socioeconomic, and educational background; and any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.