Entries in Gay Marriage (3)


Same-Sex Marriage May Have Mental Health Benefits, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the Supreme Court gears up to hear arguments on the legality of same-sex marriage, a new study suggests such unions may boost mental health.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual people who are married have significantly lower levels of psychological distress when compared to their non-married counterparts, according to a study published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

“On one level, it’s not surprising,” said study author Allen LeBlanc, a professor of sociology at San Francisco State University.  “We know that heterosexual marriage provides a higher perception of social integration and support.  It makes sense that same-sex marriages would carry some of the same benefits.”

The data comes from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which includes data from more than 47,000 heterosexual and homosexual men and women, ages 18 to 70.  Participants were asked about psychosocial distress, legal relationship status, education and employment status, and self-perceived overall health.

The study found that psychological distress was not significantly distinguishable among people in legally recognized same-sex or heterosexual relationships.  There were, however, big differences in well-being between gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women who were married and those who were not in any sort of legally recognized union.

The Supreme Court announced last Friday that it would reassess the legality of two significant anti-gay marriage laws: California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“[The laws] were not designed to harm mental health among LGBs [lesbian, gay and bisexual people], but it appears that such policies may indeed harm sexual minority populations,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc said more research is needed to determine whether individuals’ well-being increases when their kind of relationship gets legal backing.

He also said marriage is significantly protective against distress in heterosexual couples as well.

“The social environment of our lives affects well-being for everyone,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Homosexuality Gains Increased Acceptance in U.S.

Mario Tama/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Homosexuality is becoming more widely accepted in the U.S., according to new research from a General Social Survey by NORC at the University of Chicago.

HealthDay reports that the study surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that the vast majority of Americans support equality for homosexual people.

The report found that 70 percent of Americans felt homosexuality was "always wrong" in 1973. That percentage dropped to 44 percent by 2010.

"There is a large generation gap on the issue [of same-sex marriage]," noted Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at NORC and author of the NORC report. While 64 percent of those under age 30 support gay marriage, just 27 percent of those aged 70 or older feel the same.

In 1988 there was an 11 percent approval rate for gay marriage. In 2010 there was a 46 percent approval rating.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gay Marriage Quandary: Am I the Bride or Groom?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- On the first day that New York State allowed same-sex couples to start the process to get a marriage license this week, Sandra Rodriguez-Diaz and her lesbian partner Miriam Soriano had to make an "awkward" choice on the application form: Who was the bride and who was the groom?

Fredy H. Kaplan and Anthony Cipriano faced the same confusion filling out their personal information, according to a story in The New York Times -- until Kaplan declared to his partner of six years, "You're going to be the bride."

Clerks at city hall told baffled couples to wait until online application forms could be adjusted to accommodate same-sex couples, who captured the right to marry July 24 after New York joined five other states and the District of Columbia to legally sanction gay marriage.

As the right to marry gains momentum across the United States, same-sex couples are redefining the traditional roles of husband and wife, and bureaucrats are scrambling to keep pace with the social revolution.

"This kind of thing doesn't set well with [Mayor] Michael Bloomberg," said Richard Socarides, president of the national advocacy group Equality Matters and former advisor to President Bill Clinton on issues affecting gays and lesbians.

It only took Bloomberg -- one of the most vocal supporters of the gay marriage bill -- 24 hours to straighten out the mess, ordering the city clerk to update the online applications to rephrase the personal information categories to "Bride/Groom/Spouse A" and "Bride/Groom/Spouse B."

"I think it's important not to try to put gay couples in traditional heterosexual married roles," said Socarides.  "What we consider traditional roles of the husband and the wife, even in a heterosexual relationship, are certainly evolving into something different.  Just like everything else, it happens much more quickly in the digital age."

But even as modern heterosexual couples are moving beyond stereotypes, cultural perceptions of gay couples -- one is assertive and masculine, the other more feminine and submissive -- still persist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio