APA files amicus briefs in two same-sex marriage cases before US Supreme Court

APA and other leading mental health organizations argue there's "no scientific basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage" in briefs filed in cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

Psychology will inform upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage with two APA briefs reporting that there is no valid scientific basis for denying same-sex couples the right to legal marriage, or to deprive them of the institution’s considerable benefits. APA filed two “friend of the court” briefs presenting empirical evidence in support of same-sex marriage, arguing that denying recognition to legally married same-sex couples stigmatizes them. The briefs were filed in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California’s Proposition 8, and U.S. v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Both cases are slated to be argued in late March.

Years of rigorous  scientific studies have demonstrated  how “the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships” and that “heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues,” the briefs state.

“The research shows that same-sex couples are similar to heterosexual couples in essential ways and that they are as likely as opposite-sex couples to raise mentally healthy, well-adjusted children,” said APA President Donald N. Bersoff, PhD, JD.

Joining APA in filing the Windsor and Perry briefs were a number of high-profile organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers.

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