Monday, March 09, 2009

stop raining on our rainbow

Is there a limit on how many times one little blogger can link to much bigger blogger in a week's time?


According to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, this quote was overheard at a Prop 8 rally:

"There's no such thing as same-sex marriage. Sex is never the same after marriage."

Still, it's hard to joke about something that hurts those who stand the most to gain, or lose, by these legislative initiatives intended to restrict gays and lesbians from marrying.

New research confirms what most of us suspect and many of us know first hand: anti-same-sex marriage measures lead to increased psychological stress and anxiety for GLBT individuals and members of their families.

In one study GLBT persons were interviewed in depth about their reactions to anti-gay marriage proposals. In another study family members were questioned.

Several themes emerged. Respondents reported a range of unpleasant experiences. Many felt baffled, fearful, alienated and inferior or as "less than human by our government and public."

People were afraid of such serious things as being physically attacked. Others reported fears of losing custody of their children.

Another study compared individuals living in a state where anti-gay marriage amendments passed compared to those states where there wasn't an amendment on the ballot. As predicted, GLBT people whose fellow citizens voted to ban same-sex marriage reported higher levels of psychological distress compared to those living in states where no amendment was on the ballot.

There is a silver lining: Social support helps. Expressions of concern and encouragement from loved ones and members of supportive groups helped relieve some of the anxieties and fear.

Hence my decision to post about these studies. To show that even boring, straight people who take married life for granted stand behind the right of all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation, to be treated fairly under our laws.

The three studies discussed are listed below. You can click on the highlighted links to read the full articles.

“Marriage Amendments and Psychological Distress in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Adults,” Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ph.D., and Ellen D.B. Riggle, Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., University of Memphis; and Angela D. Miller, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

“Balancing Dangers: GLBT Experience in a Time of Anti-GLBT Legislation,” Heidi M. Levitt, Ph.D., Elin Ovrebo, M.S., Mollie B. Anderson-Cleveland, B.S., Christina Leone, M.S., Jae Y. Jeong, M.S., Jennifer R. Arm, M.S., Beth P. Bonin, B.S., John Cicala, M.B.A., Rachel Coleman, M.S., Anna Laurie, M.S., James M., Vardaman, M.B.A., & Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

“Negotiating connection to GLBT experience: Family members' experience of anti-GLBT movements and policies,” Jennifer R. Arm, M.S., Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., and Heidi M. Levitt, Ph.D., The University of Memphis; Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

Image source, here.


bernthis said...

Worrying about losing your kid because someone else wants to impose their beliefs on you is nothing but cruel

Deb said...

Elequently said. I agree with you whole heartedly. People need to get a friggin' life and worry about stuff that matters, not who marries who.

blognut said...

Excellent post! I can't understand why people expend so much energy trying to undo something that doesn't impact their day-to-day living in the least.

Sinda said...

I heard Gavin Newsom on NPR recently ( It's definitely worth a listen.

At one point, he says that in addition to the campaign against Prop 8 having been poorly run, that the fact was that plenty of people were for it. Then he pointed out that he is related to people who were for it, and that many of the people for it are kind, compassionate and caring people who maybe even support "civil unions," but can't get behind marriage rights for all. But that's what Brown v. Board of Education was all about, he continued, separate is NOT equal.

He said it MUCH more eloquently than I can relate, but your comment about boring straight people (did you say boring?) reminded me of his comments. We all have to speak up.

Orion said...

my GF is currently writing a persuasive paper on this subject, and since she's not much of a writer she's buttered me up to do the proof reading/editing.

from what i can see from studies not heavily peppered in fallacies and other bullshit, we as a whole... are a bunch of flagrant assholes waiving a big yellow flag in front of the face of equality.

I personally feel that a marriage is a bond between man and woman, but i feel that civil unions should gain just as many rights, freedoms, and benefits as marriages. taxes, health care, financial aid... the whole works. everyone NEEDS those things gay, straight, or otherwise.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Hear, hear.

Amy said...

I don't understand the whole "marriage is between a man and a woman, but a civil union is fine by me" thing. It's just semantics people. It is a word that you assign meaning to. There is no difference between marriage and civil union except how they are spelled.

imom said...

I agree 100%!

phd in yogurtry said...

bernthis -- I agree. You may not care for the rights of the adults involved, but think of the kids.

deb -- Ranting on about the evils of gay marriage is a distraction .. from .. oh, I don't know, banks and mortgage companies and investment brokers cheating while the SEC ignores?

blognut -- Exactly how it will "destroy" the family as we know it, I'd like to hear someone explain.

sinda -- Thanks for the link. I will give it a listen.

I know many of these compassionate people. This is most difficult for me, personally, to stomach. It's fear of the unknown, I think. The people who hold out often don't have any close friends or family members who are gay. Haven't been around a gay couple "in action" (which is to say, acting exactly like boring married straight people).

orion -- It's mind blowing that we are the flagship country of democracy (or think we are) yet we deny gays equal rights.

amy -- I agree. It's a word. I believe GLBT's should be able to introduce their partner as my wife, or my husband. It's about social order, acceptance, understanding just how meaningful this partner is.

g said...

Thank you for this post. And given the info about stress on individuals and families, it certainly motivates those of us who live in those states who voted AGAINST anti-gay propositions to reach out and show our friends that they are not alone.

g said...

Maybe we should just eliminate marriage entirely as a civil construct. Everyone should be "domestic partners" in the eyes of the state.

You want "marriage?" do it at your church. Why should the government be in the business of sanctification?

Sinda said...

Maybe we should just eliminate marriage entirely as a civil construct. Everyone should be "domestic partners" in the eyes of the state.

You want "marriage?" do it at your church. Why should the government be in the business of sanctification?

g - a conservative co-worker and I arrived at this same conclusion last week!

AnnD said...

I so agree with you. I rarely get to work with LBGT clients here in Indiana...thankfully we have Purdue University nearby (a more open-minded, college haven) but to hear some conservative people talk about this just burns. my. ass.

I so want my daughter raised in a world where people are respected equally by our government. It's just like forbidding people of different races to's sickening.

Stacie said...

This is so stupidly ridiculous. I do so hope that one day our children will be going over homework with their children and all of this will be in their social studies text book. I am teaching my son about Africa in home school now and it blows his mind that people bought other people to work on plantations in the south. I hope one day that the idea of one person not being able to marry another person because of sexual orientation will be just as ludicrous! (sp?)

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course it would cause stress. I would not choose to live somewhere that I was not treated equally at least legally (it takes longer to break down the prejudices in people's minds and I can cope with that) - but where the state does not regard me as the same, no I could not tolerate that. A strong person would fight it, I would probably vote with my feet and leave because I have children and because I think it would do my head in.

The marriage/civil union thing is very irritating. I do not believe in marriage at all but nonetheless everyone should have the right to the same things. If marriage is there then it should be for everyone. Same-sex relationships involve the same good and bad things that heterosexual ones do and deserve the same recognition or lack of it.

America is such a strange country sometimes. Well, California, I suppose.

Eudae-Mamia said...

I can only imagine the fear and hurt that is felt. Thank you for the links.

Mary Alice said...

I would be stressed out if someone else decided my marriage to my husband wasn't legal, allowed, or supported.

Jason, as himself said...

Wow. This was outstanding. I have felt this way so often in the last few months...especially in October and November. Thank you for this.

It is people like you, and posts like this, that are moving the cause forward.