Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Federal Court Says Gays Should Have Right to Marry

A federal appeals court panel ruled on February 7 that California's ban on same-sex marriage violates Americans' constitutional right to equal protection under the law, stating that the ban "fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license." This ruling upholds a 2010 decision by a lower court judge that overturned Proposition 8, a voter passed referendum that reversed a law that had legalized marriage between same-sex couples. The ruling still has to be reviewed by the full appeals court, after which legal experts expect it to make its way to the Supreme Court.

Noting the deleterious mental health aspects of discrimination against gays and lesbians, APA has adopted an official position statement in favor of the right of same-sex couples to civil marriage, emphasizing that "Same-sex couples are currently denied the important legal benefits, rights, and responsibilities of civil marriage [and] therefore experience several kinds of state-sanctioned discrimination that can adversely affect the stability of their relationships and their mental health." Read APA's statement on the issue here. In addition, recent data suggest that allowing same-sex marriage might be good for the health of gay men and lower their medical care expenses. For more about that study, see Psychiatric News.
(image: AISPIX by Image Source/


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