Study: Same-sex marriage bans cause trauma
March 02 2006 1:00 AM ET
A new American
study has found that bans on same-sex marriage have a
traumatic psychological effect on gays and lesbians. The
study by the National Sexuality Resource Center at San
Francisco State University asserts that denying
gay couples the same marriage rights as straight
couples creates "the mental distress of second-class
citizenship," Agence France-Presse reports.
Being denied marriage equality increases the
risk of depression and isolation, the study also
found. And even when gay couples create their own
unions, albeit without official sanction, they still
don't receive the same mental and physical benefits
that straight married couples do.
"Marriage denial creates what experts call
minority stress, the psychological effects of constant
discrimination that bars individuals from the
legitimate means of achieving goals that are valued by the
society in which they live," said Gil Herdt, coauthor of the
study, which examined nationwide research on the
subject. "Lesbians and gay men work just as hard as
heterosexuals do in creating and maintaining committed
relationships, but they do not get the same tangible benefits."
He added that the inability to marry amplifies
gay people's sense of shame and sends a message that
their relationships aren't valuable. (Advocate.com)
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