The American Psychiatric Association applauds two Supreme Court decisions issued today: striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA ); and effectively striking down California’s Proposition 8 which banned same sex marriage.
APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, noted that, “The APA has a long history of supporting freedom in sexual orientation and the rights of same sex couples. By withholding benefits or marriage rights from same sex couples the government unfairly stigmatizes an important part of the American population.”
Paul Appelbaum, MD, past president of the APA and member of the APA Council on Psychiatry and Law, stated, “APA has been involved as a friend of the court from the inception of litigation over the rights of same-sex couples.
Today’s decisions by the Supreme Court represent a landmark achievement of these efforts. However, litigation is likely to continue on the state level, since a majority of states still do not recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry.”
The court looked at the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. At issue was whether the federal government can deny benefits to legally married same-sex couples that it extends to other legally married couples. The case was brought by Edie Windsor, an 83-year-old woman from New York who was married to Thea Clara Spyer. After Spyer’s death in 2009, Windsor was denied an exemption of federal estate taxes that she would have received if the marriage had been recognized.
In a second case involving a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the court looked at whether, or in what circumstances, a state can withhold marriage rights from same-sex couples.
APA joined amicus briefs in both cases in support of legal recognition of same sex marriages. Signed by a coalition of the nation’s top healthcare associations including the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others, the briefs noted that the scientific evidence strongly supports the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality; that most gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults do not experience their sexual orientation as a choice; that gay and lesbian people form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects; and that same-sex couples are no less fit than heterosexual parents to raise children and their children are no less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted than children of heterosexual parents.
Over the past several decades, APA has issued a number of position statements on antidiscrimination policies related to the LGBT community. APA’s 2005 position statement on same sex marriage stated that, “APA supports the legal recognition of same-sex marriage with all rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes restrictions to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities.” Other positions include statements on homosexuality (1992, reaffirmed 2011) and civil rights (1973), adoption and co-parenting by same-sex couples (2002) and same sex unions (2004).
The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders.
Visit the APA at http://www.psychiatry.org.
Locally in the meantime Buggery challenge claimant Javed Jaghai gave another interview on CVM TV this time on the magazine program DIRECT hosted by Garfield Burford, prior to his appearance was anti gay activist Shirley Richards and Atheist/Activist Lloyd D’Agular. Javed’s case has been moved to October 4, 2013 as other religious groups have been allowed to join the suit he has filed in the Constitutional court.
also The US Supreme Court DOMA strike down has had many Jamaicans talking and a vox pop was done in Kingston and on Facebook by Nationwide radio as to how persons felt about same sex marriage overall and its possibility in Jamaica