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Study: Same-sex
marriage bans cause trauma

Study: Same-sex
marriage bans cause trauma

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. (

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