APA Applauds Supreme Court Decision Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

ARLINGTON, Va., — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that supports the right of same-sex couples across the nation to marry.

Today’s ruling strikes a blow to inequality and discrimination throughout the nation, and that’s good for Americans’ mental health,” said APA President Renée Binder, M.D. “The APA has a long history of supporting the rights of same-sex couples, and we have long noted that there is no scientific or medical reason to deny these couples the right to marry. This decision is a landmark step in ensuring equality and happiness for every American.

In this case (James Obergefell, et al., and Brittani Henry, et al., v. Richard Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al.), the court looked at the constitutionality of requiring a state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex and requiring a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when legally married in another state.

APA joined a coalition of the nation’s top health care associations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others in submitting an amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage.

“The claim that allowing sex-same couples to marry undermines the institution of marriage and harms children is inconsistent with the scientific evidence,” Binder said. “In fact, the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality and that gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships equivalent to heterosexual couples.

“But this issue goes well beyond the scientific evidence,” Binder said. “It is about what is the right thing to do and the fact that everyone should be free from discrimination.”

Over the past several decades, APA has issued a number of position statements on antidiscrimination policies related to the LGBT community. Those positions were consolidated into a 2013 Position Statement on issues related to homosexuality.

“Today is a watershed moment for equal rights in America,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We at the APA are proud that our country -- after a long period of seeking equal rights -- now sees that everyone has the constitutional right to marriage.”

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org.

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