Thursday, August 04, 2011

American Psychological Association Votes For Marriage Equality

The policy making body of the American Psychological Association ("APA") has unanimously vote (157-0) to approve a resolution supporting same-sex marriage. I can already hear the shrieks and whining amongst the Christianists over this move which will further undermine their agenda of stigmatizing LGBT individuals and same sex relations. This pro-LGBT move comes on the heels of the APA's condemnation of reparative therapy as unethical and the less than subtle signal to licensed therapist that ex-gay therapy might lead to problems with licensing. This will leave ex-gay clinics confined to quacks like Michele Bachmann husband, "Marcia" Bachmann, who hide under the "Christian ministry" moniker to avoid being barred from selling their snake oil. USA Today has coverage on the APA vote. Here are excerpts:

The world's largest organization of psychologists took its strongest stand to date supporting full marriage equity, a move that observers say will have a far-reaching impact on the national debate.

The group, with more than 154,000 members, has long supported full equal rights for gays, based on social science research on sexual orientation. Now the nation's psychologists — citing an increasing body of research about same-sex marriage, as well as increased discussion at the state and federal levels — took the support to a new level.

"Now as the country has really begun to have experience with gay marriage, our position is much clearer and more straightforward — that marriage equity is the policy that the country should be moving toward," says Clinton Anderson, director of APA's Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.

It adds that "emerging evidence suggests that statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay and bisexual residents of those states and may have negative effects on their psychological well-being."

Clinical psychologist Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University in New York City, whose new research is cited in the resolution, says the courts tend to look at these kinds of policy statements because "they're really looking to see what social science research says about the influence on gay marriage and marriage bans on a whole host of outcomes."

The last APA resolution on sexual orientation and marriage was approved in 2004. The resolution notes that since that time, APA has worked on 11 amicus briefs filed in same-sex marriage cases since 2004.

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