Saturday, October 18, 2008

Psychoanalysts Laud Connecticut's Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

Psychoanalysts Laud Connecticut's Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

CT Supreme Court moved debate from an 'equal protection' argument to one about social justice

NEW YORK, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On October 10, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that same sex couples have the right to marry, making Connecticut the third state to have legalized same-sex marriage. The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), which was a contributor and co-signer of the amici brief submitted for this case along with other national, as well as Connecticut-based, mental health and child welfare organizations, lauds the Court's historic decision -- a decision that is especially significant as it moved the same-sex marriage debate from an "equal protection" argument to one about social justice.

"Research data submitted by APsaA and other mental health organizations was pivotal to the winning legal argument. We are now able to demonstrate, scientifically, that the idea that gay couples are unfit as parents is nonsense. And we can demonstrate that children of gay parents do just as well as children of opposite sex parents. The Court's decision is good for children and families," commented APsaA President Prudence Gourguechon, M.D.

The amici brief filed for the Connecticut Supreme Court case emphasized that it is the quality of parenting that predicts children's psychological and social adjustment, not the parents' sexual orientation or gender. If their parents are allowed to marry, the children of same-sex couples will benefit from the legal stability and other familial benefits that marriage provides, as well as from elimination of state-sponsored stigmatization of their families.

In keeping with its overall support of social justice, APsaA issued a position statement earlier this year supporting the legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage while opposing discrimination against same-sex couples. For the full text of the APsaA Marriage Resolution, please visit: tabid/470/Default.aspx.

APsaA's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues reviewed extensive research on homosexual relationships and gay and lesbian parents and their children prior to issuing this statement. Some relevant statistics and research results are:

The Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of 2001 found that 68 percent of lesbians and gays considered lesbian and gay marriage to be very important and 25 percent considered it to be somewhat important.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 34 percent of cohabitating female couples and 22 percent of male couples were raising children under the age of 18.

In a 2006 paper, Charlotte Patterson, Ph.D., renowned researcher and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, concluded, "Results of the research (of various population samples of lesbian and gay families) suggest that qualities of family relationships are more tightly linked with child (development) outcomes than is parental sexual orientation."

In addition, APsaA's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues is currently developing a proposed position statement on the United States' military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization of psychoanalysts throughout the United States and is comprised of approximately 3,300 members. Visit for more information.

SOURCE American Psychoanalytic Association

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