Mar 9, 2013

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: No Scientific Basis for Banning Same-Sex Marriage

American Psychological Association Files Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court

Claims No Scientific Basis for Banning Same-Sex Marriage
The American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C, is the world’s largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.  It is the world’s largest association of psychologists. Donald N. Bersoff, PhD, JD, said that the association has a long history of supporting equal access to legal marriage based on years of scientific research. “There is no scientific basis for denying marriage to same-sex couples particularly when research indicates that marriage provides many important benefits.  The research shows that same-sex couples are similar to heterosexual couples in essential ways and that they are as likely as opposite-sex couples to raise mentally, healthy, well-adjusted children.”
What the Briefs State
“Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, form deep emotional attachments and commitments.  Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Empirical research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resembles those of heterosexual partnerships.”
The briefs cite empirical scientific evidence that demonstrate that “homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, is not chosen and is highly resistant to change. There is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted.”
How Conclusions Were Drawn
The briefs do not focus on one single study, but on general patterns.  They rely on the best empirical research available.  The studies in the brief were critically evaluated to assess their methodology, including the reliability and validity of the measures and tests employed, and the quality of data-collection procedures and statistical analyses.
Amicus Briefs Argue
“Friend of the Court” briefs filed in the cases of “Hollingsworth v. Perry”which challenges California’s Proposition 8, and U.S. v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act, state that denying recognition to legally married same-sex couples stigmatizes them.
Other Leading Mental Health Orgnaizations that Filed Briefs
The other mental health organization who filed the Windsor and Perry briefs were:  The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, California Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, National Association of Social Workers, the New York City and New York State Psychological Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the California Chapter of NASW, and the California Psychological Association.

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