Dr. Ben Siegel, a Boston pediatrician and chairman of the committee that developed the new policy, said its focus is on "nurturing children. We want what's best for children."
The academy has a history of taking a stand on politically touchy issues. It has discouraged families with children from having guns in their homes and urged pediatricians to give teens advance prescriptions for emergency birth control.
Policy positions typically start in the academy's committees and are based on a review of scientific literature. These recommendations then go to the academy's board of directors, and if approved, sent on to a three-member executive committee for a final vote. The group's 60,000 members do not vote on policy.
The gay marriage policy came from the academy's committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health, and an academy spokeswoman said it was adopted with no objections.