AGPA Same-Sex Marriage Resolution
Approved by the AGPA Board of Directors November 6, 2005

WHEREAS the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) supports the civil liberties of all of its members;

WHEREAS AGPA specifically opposes discriminatory practices directed towards its lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) members;

WHEREAS discriminatory practices are known to negatively affect the mental and physical health of lesbian, gay, bi or tansgender persons and their families (Badgett, 2001; Cochran, Sullivan, & Mays, 2003; Herek, Gillis, & Cogan, 1999; Meyer, 2003);

WHEREAS research finds same-gender couples to be functionally comparable to heterosexual couples (Peplau & Beals, 2004; Peplau & Spalding, 2000);

WHEREAS research finds that the mental health status of children raised in gay and lesbian headed households is comparable to that of children raised in heterosexually headed households (Patterson, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001; Tasker, 1999);

WHEREAS the institution of marriage confers over 1000 federal and numerous state legal benefits upon participating heterosexual couples and their families (“An Overview of Federal Rights”, 2005c; “Marriage and Relationship Laws”, 2005d; “Rights and Protections”, 2005b; “Top 10 reasons”, 2005a);

WHEREAS the word “marriage” conveys a “specifically recognized status” and is considered to be one of the “most rewarding and cherished institutions” (Suzuki, 2004; “Massachusetts Law”, 2005; “Top 10 reasons”, 2005a);

WHEREAS most same-sex couples are denied access to civil marriage (“Marriage/Relationship Laws”, 2005);

WHEREAS civil union or domestic partnership is unequal to marriage, is not accessible to all same-gender couples, is not federally recognized, and is rarely portable (Suzuki, 2004; “History of Marriage”, 2005; “Top 10 Reasons”, 2005a);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AGPA supports the non-discriminatory practice of permitting same gender couples equal access to civil marriage and all of its benefits;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that AGPA stands in opposition to the proposed Federal Constitutional Amendment which would rewrite our country’s constitution to restrict civil marriage to opposite-sexes only. 

Badgett, M.V.L. (2001). Money, myths, and change: The economic lives of lesbians and gay men. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cochran, S.D., Sullivan, J.G., & Mays, V.M. (2003). Prevalence of mental disorders, psychological distress, and mental health service use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 53-61.

Herek, G.M., Gillis, J.R., & Cogan, J.C. (1999). Psychological sequelae of hate crime victimization among
lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 945-951.

Human Rights Campaign. (2005a). Top ten reasons for marriage equality, 2005 [Data file]. Available from
Human Rights Campaign Website,

Human Rights Campaign. (2005b). Rights and protections denied same-sex partners, 2005 [Data file].
Available from Human Rights Campaign Website,

Human Rights Campaign. (2005c). An overview of federal rights and protections granted to married couples, 2005 [Data file]. Available from Human Rights Campaign Website,

Human Rights Campaign. (2005d). Marriage/relationship laws: State by state 2005 [Data file]. Available
from Human Rights Campaign Website,

Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries (2005). Massachusetts law about same-sex marriage, 2005 [Data file]. Available from the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries Website,

Marriage Equality Clifornia (2005). History of marriage, 2005 [Data file]. Available from the Marriage
Equality California Website,

Meyer, I.H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations:
Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 674-697.

Peplau, L.A., & Beals, K.P. (2004). The family lives of lesbians and gay men. In A.L. Vangelisti (Ed.),
Handbook of family communication (pp. 233-248). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Peplau, L.A., & Spalding, L.R. (2000). The close relationships of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. In C.
Hendrick & S.S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (p. 111123). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Patterson, C.J. (2004) Lesbian and gay parents and their children: Summary of research findings. In Lesbian and gay parenting: A resource for psychologists. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Perrin, E.C., and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health (2002). Technical
Report: Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. Pediatrics, 109, 341-344.

Stace, J. & Biblarz, T.J. (2001). (How) Does sexual orientation of parents matter? American Sociological
Review, 65, 159-183.

Suzuki, C. (2004, February 4). Massachusetts court: Same-sex couples entitled to marriage. USA Today.
Retrieved October 10, 2005, from

Tasker, F. (1999). Children in lesbian-led families – A review. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 4, 153-166.
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