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Liveblogging Day 3: Part VII – More Letitia Peplau


By Paul Hogarth

[UPDATE] 2:23 PM: Plaintiffs have submitted the American Psychiatric Associations’ policy paper on gay marriage — “In the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health, APA supports gay marriage.”

Attorney: Have there been any studies on the effects of gay marriage on same-sex couples?

Peplau: My belief is based on the large body of research on heterosexual couples.  Based on that, I would predict that same-sex marriage would have a beneficial impact.  I looked at the marriage and divorce rate in Massachusetts — during the 4 years before marriage equality, and the 4 years after.  What’s very clear to me is that there has been no change …

[So excuse me … tell me how marriage equality harms traditional marriage?]

A: What is the effect of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts on same-sex couples [in a survey]?

P: Many say that it makes them feel “more committed” and that their families are now “more approving.”  They say they felt “less worried” about legal problems.  One-third now said that they now have health access to employers which they did not have access to.  25% of the couples in the survey had children — and 95% of them said their children had benefited from the marriage.

A: What’s your opinion on what impact gay marriage will have on the stability of heterosexual marriage?

P: It would have no impact.  By “stability,” we mean two things.  Does it mean fewer straight people will marry (“entry”), and does it mean we will have more divorces (“exit”)?

BEST QUOTE FROM PEPLAU: “I have a hard time believing that a straight couple is going to say, “Gertrude we’ve been together for 30 years.  But now we have to throw in the towel because Adam and Stewart down the street are getting married.”

A: Let’s talk about exposure to marriage.  What percentage of married couples would be same-sex couples?

P: I would say about 2% of all couples would be gay.



  • 1. David Kimble  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Whoohoo! Score more points for our side!

  • 2. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:35 am

    okI post it here again: I found the carpenter and gates paper they were talking about it's not open access but I could download with university account.
    so if anyone is interested in a bit background reading..

  • 3. Scottie  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Wait wait wait!

    "P: Yes, and I support it. And the American Psychiatric Association has issued a policy statement."

    Where can we find this statement?

  • 4. AlexL  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

    This APA press release contains links to two resolutions on gays and lesbians:

    The scientific community has been extremely forward in its support of the LGBT community, the APA being no exception.

  • 5. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:42 am

    This is what I could find:

  • 6. Miang  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Both APAs have policy statements…

    American Psychiatric Association:

    American Psychological Association:

  • 7. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

  • 8. kristin  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

    My Grandma has always maintained that if LGBT couples were allowed to get married it would somehow impact her marriage and make it less. When I asked her how it would do that, she couldn't tell me, she just said it would. But if same-sex marriages were allowed, she wouldn't "exit" her own marriage over it so yeah, no impact IMO.

  • 9. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Yep. Every time I ask someone who opines that SSM "cheapens the institution" to tell me how that could possibly be, I hear nothing but crickets chirping.

    My "traditional" marriage is not affected in the slightest (obviously). It's just people spouting their bumper-sticker slogans.

  • 10. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Oh yeah, my yet-to-come marriage is totally gonna be affected if ssmarriage was allowed! knowing that one could marry a sspartner would make me think about whether or not it wouldn't have been better to marry a ssperson when I had a fight with my yet-to-come husband. (you see, how being exposed to gay marriage also made me phantasise about being gay! 😉 )
    also I would feel that gay couples would steal my show when they can marry and that – since gays should have less rights than "normal" persons – these rights would subsequelntly have to be lowered for all married couples when marriages are made equal thus making marriage in the end less secure than just being partners. you see 🙂

    ok, I guess I'm just gettig a little silly 🙂 it's kinda late over here 😉

  • 11. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Um, yeah… Same convo I've had with some folks in the reddish state where I reside… "Why do you feel gay marriage would be deprecatory to your straight marriage?"

    "Just because" is not permissible in court, thank the old white bearded guy laughing at all of us from some cumulonimbus…

  • 12. David Kimble  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I dunno, but I have been aware of this policy statement for several years – perhaps try the American Phychiatric Association website? Hey, this is really big, since it establishes us clearly as a minority!

  • 13. Pam  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

    APA position statement:

  • 14. David Kimble  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:42 am

    thanks for the link! It is very very good!

  • 15. Anna  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:43 am

    is this the document they're referring to? it's the sixth 'therefore' down.

    @Steffi- i would like you to send me the article you've found.

  • 16. L.A. Guy  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    It's the Psychological Association, not Psychiatric.

    Anne Peplau is a psychologist.

  • 17. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Good catch. With that, we now know both the American Psychiatric Association AND American Psychological Association has issued policy statements favoring gay marriage.

  • 18. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:49 am


  • 19. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Ok about supporting this site: I wanted to donate my share to this site which I find really important (considering they stay in court all day ling and do really exhausting and high quality work!) but I could find no way to deliver my donation since I am german and have no visa or mastercard. Any remedy? maybe with pay pal? couldn't you arrange things?

  • 20. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Steffi, this information is also on the donation page:

    If you prefer to send a check, please make the check out to the "Courage Campaign Institute" and mail it to:

    Courage Campaign Institute, 7119 West Sunset Boulevard, No. 195 Los Angeles, California, 90046

    I'll bet you could send an international money order.

  • 21. ron  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Thanks,read it,never had,tears

  • 22. Pam  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:58 am

    OK- two APA groups….didn't realize- here is the statement by the American Psychological Association as posted on the HRC web site:

  • 23. Madjoy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

    2% of married couples would be same-sex? That's interesting. That seems kind of low to me. Why would the % of married couples that are same-sex be lower than the % of people who are lesbian or gay? I'm not saying she's wrong, but I just wonder what the social phenomenon at work here is. I feel like this would approach the % of the population who are homosexual eventually, after it reached an equilibrium (which might take a generation or two).

  • 24. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Probably for the same reason that the number of straight married couples does not equal the percentage of people who are straight. Some people are single, some are in couples that do not wish to marry for whatever reason (many of my friends say they will not marry until *everyone* can), some are underage and cannot legally marry …

  • 25. Rev Byrd  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I am getting kinda despirate here. i really reall want to read what happened yesterday and the day before at this trial. anyone know a URL so i can catch up?

  • 26. A  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Rev Byrd, look through the other posts in this blog, I think there's a wrap-up for both day 1 and 2.

  • 27. Rev Byrd  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I have looked everywhere! I cannot find the blog or a wrap-up for day 1 or 2. Please, Please, HELLLPPP!

    Send me a URL so I can catch up!!!!

  • 28. Brad  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:31 am


    I'd greatly appreciate a copy if it's not too much trouble (my same-sex partner of six years would also enjoy it; we flew from California to Mass last year to get married even though it doesn't have much legal punch back here at home.) Getting married actually transformed our "excellent" relationship into a "magical" one. Although I came out so long ago that gay marriage wasn't even a concept yet, today I'm impatient for it to subsume the States, Germany, EVERYWHERE!

    [email protected]_dot_com

    Thank tonnes for your generous offer!


  • 29. A  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

    A: What is the effect of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts on same-sex couples [in a survey]?

    P: … 95% of them said their children had benefited from the marriage.

    Bam, case in point. How can the defense come back from that?

  • 30. Wade MacMorrighan  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Actually, bro. according to Maggie Gallagher (a woman I seriously cannot stomach) the harm to so-called "traditional marriage" would come several generations down the line when people start thinking of a marriage couple as 'two individuals", rather than just "a mommy and a daddy" (two emotive terms Gallagher uses frequently). 'Course, Mags also believes that no one should have to pretend that a Gay marriage is valid, or even equal to that of a heterosexist couple. Gallagher even stated, once, that gay people either cannot love their spouse to the same extent that a het. couple can.

  • 31. keithincali  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Also, look at countries that allow gay marriage and use that as evidence. It hasn't affected "traditional" marriage in the slightest in those countries.

    Explain that

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