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Same-Sex Marriage
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On Monday, October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court let stand appeals court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states (Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin). Within hours of the announcement, gay and lesbian couples began getting married in those states. The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand came without explanation but is expected to have considerable national impact. 

In late July, the American Psychological Association invited WPA to join their amicus brief in a legal case challenging Wisconsin’s law banning same-sex civil marriage. There were 109 research and academic articles cited in the brief, and WPA’s Board of Directors was unanimous in supporting it. We were pleased to be joined by other national and state professional organizations as well.

The initial arguments in the case, Wolf vs. Walker, were heard before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on August 26. Some of the key research-supported points made in the brief were:

  • „Homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, is generally not chosen, and is highly resistant to change.
  • Gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects.
  • „The institution of marriage offers social, psychological and health benefits that are denied to same-sex couples who cannot legally marry.
  • „Many same-sex couples raise children. The factors that affect the adjustment of children (such as the quality of the parent-child relationship, the quality of relationships between significant adults in the child’s life, and the availability of economic and other resources) are not dependent on parental gender or sexual orientation.
  • „There is no scientific basis for concluding that same-sex couples are any less fit or capable parents than heterosexual couples, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well adjusted.
  • „Denying the status of marriage to same-sex couples stigmatizes and disadvantages them.

We are glad to share the full amicus brief on the WPA website as a community resource, and we welcome the opportunity to bring evidence-based clarity about psychological factors that are relevant to the discussion of controversial social issues. 

Click here to read the Amicus Brief

On September 4, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in part on evidence put forward by APA and WPA in the amicus brief, decided to invalidate the Wisconsin and Indiana bans on same-sex marriage.

Click here to read the Final Opinion of the 7th Circuit Court 

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