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Anti-same-sex marriage amendments spark distress among GLBT adults and families, says new research
Date:11/18/2008

WASHINGTON Amendments that restrict civil marriage rights of same-sex couples such as Proposition 8 that recently passed in California have led to higher levels of stress and anxiety among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, as well as among their families of origin, according to several new studies to be published by the American Psychological Association.

One quantitative and two qualitative studies on the impact of anti-GLBT legislation appear in a special issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, published by APA. That issue of the journal, to be published in January, will be titled: "Advances in Research with Sexual Minority People."

The quantitative study was based on an online survey of 1,552 lesbian, gay and bisexual adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia examining "minority stress," or the chronic social stress that minorities experience as a result of social stigmatization. Participants were grouped into those living in the seven states with an amendment on the ballot in November 2006 that did pass; those living in the 18 states with an amendment that passed before 2006; and those in the 23 states (plus D.C.) with no amendment. (Those living in Alabama, where an amendment passed in June 2006, were excluded because of the timing, as were those living in Arizona, where an amendment was defeated.)

The survey results documented increased minority stress, as well as more general psychological distress, among LGB individuals following the passage of a marriage amendment in 2006, compared to LGB people in states without an amendment on the 2006 ballot. The researchers, led by Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ph.D., at the University of Kentucky, found that those participants living in states that passed a measure in 2006 reported increased exposure to negative media messages and negative conversations.

"The results of this study demonstrate that living in a state that has just passed a marri
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Contact: Kim Mills
chobson@apa.org
202-336-6048
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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