Wednesday, June 26, 2013

APA Applauds Court's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

APA is hailing the two same-sex marriage rulings issued by the Supreme Court earlier today, with President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., citing APA's "long history of supporting freedom in sexual orientation and the rights of same-sex couples." He emphasized that, "By withholding benefits or marriage rights from same-sex couples, the government unfairly stigmatizes an important part of the American population." APA had joined most of the country's leading medical and mental health organizations in signing onto amicus briefs in favor of same-sex marriage in both of the cases. The briefs maintained that a substantial body of scientific evidence supports the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, is not a choice people make, and that same-sex couples form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual ones in multiple respects.

In one of the cases decided today, the Court ruled that much of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and thus denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. (Twelve states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.) Justices did not decide, however, whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In the other case, they let stand a California ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. A statewide referendum, Proposition 8, had overturned a law allowing same-sex marriage, but a state court declared the results invalid. The Supreme Court said those who filed the legal challenge trying to get the ban reinstated did not have standing to bring the case.

In 2005, APA adopted an official policy statement stating that it "supports the legal recognition of same-sex marriage with all rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes restrictions to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities.” 

Read the complete APA press release here.

(image: Lisa F. Young/



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