Anti-Gay Ballot Initiatives
Anti-gay ballot initiatives (voter referendums) are designed to limit or reduce the equality of LGBT people. These initiatives are accompanied by political campaigns that serve to inflame the passions of voters on both sides of the issue. The effects of these political campaigns can be harmful to the LGBT community as they discover the depth of prejudice within their state or local community.
MPIPP FACT SHEET
MPIPP has developed this fact sheet on the mental health impact of anti-gay ballot initiatives on LGBT people, their families, and their allies. MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.
See also: Same-sex marriage topic in LGBT issues for additional information that is specific to “same-sex marriage” equality campaigns.
RESEARCH & REPORTS/SURVEYS
Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address the psychological impact of anti-gay voter referendums. The research shown is generally representative of a larger body of peer-reviewed research. Please note that not all individuals or families are affected in the same way. Also, most of the reports shown here also have extensive bibliographical references that can be reviewed for a more complete analysis of this topic.
- American Psychological Association, Anti Same-Sex Marriage Amendments Spark Psychological Distress among GLBT Adults and Their Families, According to New Research. This 2008 press release shares that not only are LGBT people harmed by anti-LGBT campaigns over issues, such as same sex marriage, but their families and allies also experience secondary minority stress. Available online at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2008/11/glbt-stress.aspx
- Arm, J.R., Horne, S.G., & Levitt, H.M. (2009). Negotiating Connection to GLBT Experience: Family Members’ Experience of Anti-GLBT Movements and Policies. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 82–96. doi: 10.1037/a0012813
- Hatzenbuehler, M., McLaughlin, K. et al. (2010) The Impact of Institutional Discrimination on Psychiatric Disorders in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: A Prospective Study, Am J Public Health. 2010 March; 100(3): 452–459, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.168815. Available online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820062/
- Hatzenbuehler, M., Keyes, K., Hasin, D. (2009) State-Level Policies and Psychiatric Morbidity In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations, Am J Public Health. 2009 December; 99(12): 2275–2281, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.153510. Available online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775762/
- Levitt, H., Ovrebo, E., Anderson-Cleveland, M. et al., Balancing Dangers: GLBT Experience in a time of Anti-GLBT Legislation, Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2009 Vol. 56, No. 1, 67-81. Available online at: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/cou-56-1-67.pdf
- Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., Horne, S. G., & Miller, A. D. (2009). Marriage amendments and psychological distress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 56-66. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0013609; also available online at: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/cou-56-1-56.pdf
- Riggle, E. D. B., Rostosky, S. S., & Horne, S. G. (2010). Psychological distress, well-being, and legal recognition in same-sex couple relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(1), 82-86. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017942
- Russell, G. M. (2000). Voted out: The psychological consequences of antigay politics.New York: New York University Press.
- Russell, G. M., & Richards, J. A. (2003). Stressor and resilience factors for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals confronting antigay politics. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 313-327.
HELPFUL RESOURCES AND ORGANIZATIONS
This list of resources and organizations (in no particular order) is designed to enable our website readers to find other information on the topic being described. Many of the organizations listed here also have resource guides and information available on this topic. MPIPP does not recommend nor endorse organizations by providing helpful links nor can we list programs or projects of political parties. If you are aware of other resources and links that are non-partisan and appropriate, please use the “contact us” page to send the link for consideration.
- Surviving and Thriving in the Midst of Anti-Gay Politics, a paper by Glenda Russell, Ph.D. that explores strategies to overcome the feelings produced in LGBT people and their allies by negative campaigns and offers three factors for building resilience. Available online at: http://elearning.huc.edu/jhvrc/upload/Surviving%20&%20Thriving%20in%20the%20Midst%20of%20Anti-Gay%20Politics.pdf
- Freedom to Marry. Freedom to Marry is the gay and ally partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Website: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/about-us
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. This organization educates and empowers organizations, human resources professionals, employee resource groups, and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices, and benefits in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or characteristics. Website: http://www.outandequal.org