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

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And in the third study, 10 family members of GLBT people living in Memphis were interviewed regarding how anti-GLBT initiatives and movements had affected their family. Their responses were also grouped into clusters of similar themes.

"Some participants identified so deeply with their family member's experience that they felt equally attacked by these movements and policies," the researchers wrote. "They considered themselves members of the GLBT community and experienced rejection by others for being a GLBT family member."

"Typically, we tend to think of anti-GLBT policies such as marriage bans and Proposition 8 as affecting only GLBT people. However, our research suggests that others in addition to GLBT people are also impacted by this legislation and sometimes quite negatively. For example, we learned that some family members experienced a form of secondary minority stress. Although many participants displayed resiliency and effective coping with this stress, some experienced strong negative consequences to their mental and physical health," said Jennifer Arm, M.S.

Brent Mallinckrodt, Ph.D., editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, said the three articles provide empirical evidence of the harmful psychological and emotional effects of such measures.

"This information is especially timely, as we see the emotionally charged reactions from GLBT people in the wake of the Proposition 8 passage in California," he said. "Psychologists serving GLBT clients and their families need to be aware of the real impact of these political forces on the everyday lives of the people most directly affected."


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Contact: Kim Mills
chobson@apa.org
202-336-6048
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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