NEW: Insurance and legal information for same-sex couples traveling to NC.
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NEW: Flyer with Conference LGBT program listing and advocacy tips [.pdf here]
The North Carolina Defense of Marriage Bill, SB 514
What is SB 514?
The May 2012 primary election in North Carolina will include a ballot amendment that has become known as "Amendment One". It will state that "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." The text of the N.C. General Assembly record can be read here.
What does psychological research say about same-sex marriage?
The North Carolina Psychological Association has 4 main points that summarize the key findings in the scientific literature:
| 1. There is no empirical evidence that supports the denial of marriage rights to people in same-sex relationships. |
2. There is empirical evidence that denial of marriage rights to people in same-sex relationships is damaging to their psychological health.
3. There is empirical evidence that opposing denial of marriage rights initiatives has beneficial psychological effects.
4. Psychologists have colleagues and we have clients for whom this issue is relevant and important, and who appreciate representation. From a social justice perspective, significant benefits accrue to all of us when diverse families are legally and socially sanctioned.
In 2011 the APA Council reaffirmed its support for marriage equality for same-sex couples, including citing new scientific findings to support this position. The resolution Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples calls for further action on the part of the APA, all behavioral scientists and other professional experts to oppose all forms of discriminatory policies that deny same-sex couples the right to marry, to educate the public about the negative effects of stigma, and to work with other organizations to promote quality research and interventions.
Reducing stigmatization of LGBT people is a concern that has policy implications beyond the legislative debates on marriage equality. The APA resolution on Opposing Discriminatory Legislation: Initiatives Aimed at Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons (2007) states the need for greater tolerance, increased public education, and an end to all policy and legislative efforts that discriminate against citizens on the basis of sexual orientation.
More information on the effects of stigma and the established psychological findings that counter many of the claims of opponents of full marriage and other civil rights for the LGBT population can be found in the SPSSI fact sheet on Same-Sex Couples and U.S. Marriage Legislation. A range of summaries on research and policies can be found at www.spssi.org/policyhub.
Find out what advocates are doing about Amendment One:
Useful insurance and legal information for same-sex couples traveling to NC