Marriage amendments and psychological distress in LGB adults

Journal of Counseling Psychology

Volume 56 Issue 1 2009

University of Kentucky researchers Sharon Rostosky and Ellen Riggle used online surveys to study the emotions of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults following the 2006 general election, during which nine states had anti-gay "marriage amendments" on the ballot. The researchers found when marriage amendments are on the ballot, lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience acute psychological stress and downturns in general well-being; they also become more politically active. These researchers conclude that beyond raising awareness, counseling psychologists may have opportunities to provide key leadership in advocating for legislative equality for all lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, who often report feeling like second-class citizens. [PDF]