American Psychological Association's position on same-sex marriage
In the California case that challenged the decision to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the American Psychological Association (APA) submitted a brief to the court that offered psychological evidence emphasizing the benefits of marriage, the lack of difference between lesbian and gay parents and heterosexual parents, and the impact that a social stigma has on well-being. The brief informed the court’s opinion that restricting marriage to same-sex couples violated the state constitution. Read an article about this issue at APA Online, written by APA’s executive director Dr. Gwendolyn Puryear Keita. She focuses on what she describes as “applying what we know about psychology to address human concerns.”
Benfits of a legally recognized union
With marriage being the natural course for so many straight couples, few may stop and consider the many benefits that a legally recognized union offers. In addition to the public commitment marriage represents within a community of friends and family, there are more than 1,000 federal legal benefits including taxes, federal loans, survivor benefits, healthcare, health insurance, health emergency decision making, child custody, property rights, retirement benefits, and more.
Domestic partnership and civil unions are not an option everywhere and do not have the same cultural and legal benefits as marriage. Full domestic partnership or civil union laws make no difference on the more than 1,000 federal benefits of marriage.