BY Advocate.com Editors
December 09 2009 2:25 PM ET
They found that LGB people living in the nine states that passed an
exclusionary marriage amendment reported higher levels of psychological
distress and depressive symptoms when compared to people living in the
other states. Among the factors that increased the experience of stress
were antigay media messages repeatedly broadcast during the electoral
campaigns. The researchers call this “minority stress,” and define it
as the “chronic social stress that individuals with stigmatized
identities experience as a direct result of prejudice and
discrimination over and above the stresses of daily living.”
is not unusual to hear opponents of gay marriage say they have nothing
against gay people, and that they are only voting to preserve
“traditional marriage.” I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of
their beliefs. However, as this study and my own clinical experience
with patients like Christopher show, the psychological effects of their
actions may contradict their words.
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