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Psychological association advocates legalization of same-sex marriage

The American Psychological Association (APA) [official website] voted unanimously Thursday to adopt a resolution [text] supporting full marriage equality for same-sex couples. Just before the opening day of the APA's annual convention [official website], a 157-member policymaking body adopted the position that the federal government and state legislatures should repeal measures denying marriage rights to same-sex couples in an effort to move toward marriage equality. After reviewing and conducting research on same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal, the professional organization found that marriage "does confer the same sense of security, support, and validation" to same-sex couples as it does to heterosexual couples. Furthermore, the group contends, state measures prohibiting same-sex marriage cause considerable stress for the lesbian, gay and bisexual population, stigmatize same-sex relationships and reinforce prejudice against homosexuals. The APA also urged professional groups to continue conducting research with the goal of better understanding the lesbian, gay and bisexual population, particularly with respect to relationships and family formation.

Support for same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] is increasing in the US. New York began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week, just one month after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) [official website] signed the same-sex marriage legislation [JURIST report] into law. In July, a spokesperson for US President Barack Obama announced that the president espouses repeal [JURIST report] of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive], and advocates the ratification of the Respect for Marriage Act [text], which was introduced by Congressional Democrats [JURIST report] in February to repeal DOMA, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." In addition to New York, same-sex marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, as well as in the Suquamish and Coquille American Indian tribes [JURIST reports].

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