Answers to Your Questions About Same-Sex Marriage

Legal recognition of a committed relationship through marriage provides economic, social, and health benefits to gay and lesbian couples. This legal recognition can also benefit gay and lesbian family members, friends of the couple, children who gay or lesbian parents might adopt in the future, and society at large.

Are heterosexual and same-sex marriages different?

Many lesbians, gays, and bisexuals desire lifelong partnerships. They form committed relationships, and many have been together ten or more years—an amount of time that is commensurate with that found in the heterosexual population. The same psychological processes support gay couples as heterosexual couples, including factors critical to relationship satisfaction—attachment, love, loyalty, intimacy, etc. Gay couples’ satisfaction levels are comparable to or higher than those of heterosexuals.

How are gay and lesbian individuals affected by-laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals?

Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable to health problems when they live in communities that condone prejudicial behavior, including discrimination. 

Research conducted by psychologists has shown that social stress caused by denying marriage rights to same-sex couples may lead to mental health problems. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry could have negative repercussions beyond the couples themselves, as their family members and friends would likely endure emotional stress.

Do same-sex couples fitted to become parents?

Most studies of same-sex couples show that they function as well as heterosexual couples in the raising of their children and that the children of lesbian and gay parents fare as well as children raised by heterosexual parents. For example, a recent study has shown that the academic performance of children raised by lesbian or gay parents is equal to that of children raised by heterosexual parents and that they have healthy, well-adjusted social lives.