Same-Sex Marriage

Now that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States as unconstitutional, the battles will likely shift to individual states where same-sex marriage has been denied via political campaigns.  It is important, therefore, to understand the research that supports that overwhelmingly supports same-sex marriage.  It is also important to understand the impact of anti-LGBT political campaigns on LGBT citizens (see also “anti-gay ballot initiatives” on this website) as well as their families and others who care about them.  Pete, please insert a hyperlink for the phrase in parentheses.)


MPIPP has developed this fact sheet on the the right to marry and mental health of LGBT people. MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.



Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address same-sex marriage. 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.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (a national professional organization of pediatricians) offers a comprehensive discussion of the effects of public policy on children who have same-sex parents.  This discussion covers civil and/or religious marriage, civil unions, and second parent adoption and the impact on children who have LGBT parents.  This report provides demographic information and is exhaustively documented with research.  Available online at:
  • Herek, G., Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in the United States: A Social Science Perspective — Pre-publication draft of a paper that will appear in the American Psychologist, 2006, 61(6)  In addition to discussing the psychosocial dimensions of both same-sex and heterosexual relationships, the paper also shows that a parent’s sexual orientation is unrelated to his or her ability to provide a healthy and nurturing family environment for children.It is concluded that same-sex couples and their children are likely to benefit in numerous ways from legal recognition of their families, and providing such recognition through marriage will bestow greater benefit than civil unions or domestic partnerships.  Available online at:
  • Badgett, M.V. Lee, Will Providing Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples Undermine Heterosexual Marriage? 2004, National Sexuality Resource Center, San Francisco State University.  This research examines the experiences with same sex marriage in Scandinavia and the Netherlands and refutes that same-sex marriage destroys the institution of marriage.Available online at:
  • Herdt, G. and Kertzner, R., I Do, But I Can’t: The Impact of Marriage Denial on the Mental Health and Sexual Citizenship of Lesbians and Gay Men in the United States2006, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Journal of NSRC, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 33-49, online ISSN 1553-6610.  Please note copyright policy regarding fair use.  Available at:



Shown below are the Amicus briefs filed by the American Psychological Association in both the DOMA and Prop 8 (California) cases that extensively cite social science research as well as links to the Supreme Court decisions in these two cases.

  • American Psychological Association, Amicus Brief in Windsor v. US (Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA) before the Supreme Court of the United States. This amicus brief applies social science research to rebut some of the justifications offered for the prohibition in Section 3 of DOMA of any federal recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples. Those justifications, involving procreation, the welfare of children and the like, are closely similar to those offered in cases defending states’ refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry. The amicus brief provides extensive psychological research on key points, including how homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, is generally not chosen, and is highly resistant to change. Also provided is current scientific research on the nature of same-sex relationships, the role of child-rearing, and the stigma resulting from denying the label “marriage” to same-sex unions.  Available online at:
  • American Psychological Association, Amicus Brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry (Proposition 8 in California) before the Supreme Court of the United States. This amicus brief is very similar to the one above in terms of the discussions and research offered. Available online at:


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.

These links are to various organizations whose missions support same-sex marriage are provided as a public service to those seeking additional information or wishing to become further involved in activities to support adoption of same-sex marriage.

Michigan organizations:

  • Equality Michigan. Equality Michigan works to achieve full equality and respect for all people in Michigan regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. To find out more about same-sex marriage and receive updates, go to:

National Organizations:

The turnover in 2003 and 2004, he wrote in an e-mail last week, makes the current number of vacancies look about normal.