What Do Science & the Professionals
Say About Marriage Equality?
ALL (not some, all) of America’s established experts on family, mental health and child health agree that America would benefit if same-sex couples could have civil marriage to protect their families.
Here is why:
The National Library of Medicine scientific research publications all confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individual’s ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work, or to contribute to society.
Everybody has an opinion about same-sex marriage, but what does the scientific research reveal about the health and welfare of children and families in same-sex marriages? Rather than make gay rights a popularity contest, let’s ask America’s best experts on family, mental health and children what the research shows is best for all American families. From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is a normal sexual orientation; homosexual relationships are normal relationships.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, National Association of Social Workers, Child Welfare League of America, North American Council on Adoptable Children have endorsed civil marriage/adoption for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental, physical health and longevity of couples, and having two parents (of any gender) provides greater health, legal/financial security for children. Research confirms that children develop perfectly normally. Even the American Academy of Anthropology has issued a policy statement that says access to civil marriage by same-sex couples will not harm our social order. Visit the websites of these non-partisan, national professional and certifying associations for their policy statements.
If we don't listen to professional experts on national family health and welfare, then we are simply voting our religious beliefs or personal bias into state and federal laws, and harming the families of gay and lesbian couples, especially those with children.
About Dr. O’Hanlan: Dr. O'Hanlan is a gynecologic cancer surgeon. Since meeting her wife, Léonie Walker, almost 28 years ago, Dr. O'Hanlan has been working on equal rights for gays and lesbians. In 1989, she won partner insurance benefits at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Continuing her equality efforts at Stanford University, she led the initiative to create an equal employment benefit package there in 1991, making Stanford the first university to grant a precisely equal employment package to all employees. She founded the Lesbian Health Fund in 1992, which has fostered 47 articles, with 31 grants from over $500,000. She wrote the American Medical Women's Association policy endorsing same-gender civil marriage in 1994. She then authored Homophobia as a Health Hazard: Report of the GLMA, Lesbian Health: Perspectives for Treating Obstetrician/Gynecologists, the first chapter on lesbian health in Copeland's Gynecology Textbook, and published the first evidence of HPV transmission by lesbians by 2000. She was co-principal investigator of the first NIH grant studying lesbians with breast cancer. She also published the first article about female to male transsexuals undergoing hysterectomy in 2007. As former president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Dr. O'Hanlan has spoken on LGBTIQ health issues at the National Institutes for Health, the President's Cancer Panel, the Office of Research on Women's Health, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). She authored the District IX, California, ACOG endorsement of marriage equality, and published a review of policies about civil marriage equality, requesting the national ACOG to review this subject. She is a Fellow of the progressive Rockway Institute, and became a marriage officiant during the brief time when California permitted equal access to civil marriage in 2008.
The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the oldest peer-reviewed medical journal in the world, published an article detailing how same-sex marriage makes entire families healthier.
6 December 2012 Patterns and Predictors of Disclosure of Sexual Orientation to Healthcare Providers among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals - The Williams Institute
New research from shows that bisexual men and women are less likely than gay men and lesbians to disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare providers. The study, which examined nondisclosure of sexual orientation among lesbians, gay men and bisexual men and women, found that concealment of sexual orientation from healthcare providers was related to poor psychological wellbeing.
This 26-year study shows that the teens who were studied have close friendships and consider their mothers to be good role models. They are academically successful and happy with their lives. The 17-year-olds participating in the longest-running study of lesbian families had high school GPAs in the A- to B+ range, and nearly all planned to attend four-year colleges. These adolescents had strong family bonds, and they were nearly unanimous in describing their mothers as good role models.
“These kids were planned and their lesbian mothers were very engaged in parenting. At the end of high school, the teens tell us that they have excellent grades, feel connected to their families and friends, and admire their parents,” said Nanette Gartrell, MD, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Williams Institute.
In the study, teenagers were asked a series of questions about their everyday life experiences. “They teach me to be accepting of all people on this earth, no matter what differences they may have,” wrote one adolescent boy. One teenage girl described her mothers as “very successful, powerful, beautiful women who are happy with their lives and I would love to end up like them.”
Adolescents were drawn from families that are participating in the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS). The study, Adolescents with Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives, appeared in the Journal of Homosexuality.
15 October 2012 Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being: Findings From the California Health Interview Survey
>This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that psychological distress is lower among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who are legally married to a person of the same sex, compared with those not in legally recognized unions, according to a new study led by Richard G. Wight from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Williams Institute.
A study of young children of first-time adoptive parents found that the children of same-gender parents were less gender stereotyped in their play behavior than the children of heterosexual parents, which may translate to strengths that aid them later in life, according to new research funded by the Williams Institute.
According to a new study (June 2012) from the Williams Institute, the absence of male role models did not adversely affect the psychological adjustment of 17-year-old teens raised in lesbian-headed households. “This study is part of a growing body of research that evinces the positive psychological well-being of children reared in planned lesbian families,” said the study’s co-author Nanette Gartrell, MD, Visiting Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute.
The study, Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Male role models, gender role traits, and psychological adjustment, is published in Gender & Society.
Male Homosexuality Study: Gay Men Have Evolutionary Benefit For Their Families, New Research Suggests
This article regarding studies led by Andrea Camperio Ciani at the University of Padova in Italy and others was written by Natalie Wolchover and published in the Huffington Post on 13 June 2012.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius made this speech on 21 May 2012 in Geneva Switzerland at the 65th World Health Assembly "Breaking Down Barriers: Addressing Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care for LGBT Persons."
This study published in the Amercian Journal of Public Health in March 2012 concluded that: "Sexual minority and aging-related stress significantly affected the emotional lives of these men. Personal sense of mastery may help to sustain them as they age. We observed specific mental health benefits of same-sex legal marriage."
This study published in the American Journal of Public Health in February 2012 concluded that: "Policies that confer protections to same-sex couples may be effective in reducing health care use and costs among sexual minority men."
Commentary by William C. Buffie, M.D. in the June 2011 issue of the Amercian Journal of Public Health. This commentary concludes that, "Legislation to make marriage equality a reality will change, and save, lives."
This policy, adpted in July 2004, concludes that: "Overall, results of research suggest that the development, adjustment, and well-being of children with lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from that of children with heterosexual parents." Therefore, the resolution includes this statement: "...the APA opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services;"
One of the significant findings of the extensive research the Williams Institute has done regarding same-sex couples living in the U.S. is: "The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [had] serious financial, legal, social and health consequences for same-sex couples and their families."