American Psychological Assoc. approves of marriage equality

The policymaking body of the American Psychological Association (APA) unanimously approved the resolution 157-0 to approve of full marriage equality on the eve of the group’s annual convention.

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.

The resolution points to numerous recent studies, including findings that “many gay men and lesbians, like their heterosexual counterparts, desire to form stable, long-lasting and committed intimate relationships and are successful in doing so.”

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.”

Six states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont) and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.

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