Answers to Your Questions About Same-Sex Marriage
Are same-sex marriages different from heterosexual marriages?
Scientists have found that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Same-sex and heterosexual couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Empirical research also shows that lesbian and gay couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.
How do laws that limit marriage to heterosexuals affect gay and lesbian people?
The families and friends of lesbian and gay couples who are denied marriage rights may also experience negative physical and mental health consequences similar to those experienced by their loved ones.
Do same-sex couples make fit parents?
Why is marriage so important?
Marriage bestows economic and social support to couples in committed relationships, which can result in substantial health benefits. Researchers have found that married men and women generally experience better physical and mental health than comparable cohabiting couples. Additionally, same-sex couples in legal unions are more likely to remain in a committed relationship than those denied marriage rights.
Taken together, the research shows that there's no scientific basis for denying marriage rights to same-sex couples, and doing so can adversely affect them as well as their family and friends.
This fact sheet is based on APA's amicus brief in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry and APA's Public Interest Government Relations Office fact sheet on Marriage Equality and LGBT Health (PDF, 111KB).