I am concerned about the inaccuracies and hurtful claims that have been put forth as reasons to vote for the marriage amendment. Minnesotans want and deserve accurate information.
Scientific research has led the medical and psychological community to recognize that being gay, lesbian, or bisexual are normal sexual orientations. Aside from the pain and stress of discrimination, these people lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. They can form healthy and satisfying relationships with another person of the same sex and raise healthy and well-adjusted children.
Committed relationships between same-sex partners are similar in other ways to marriages between heterosexual partners. Studies consistently show that “the development, adjustment, and well-being of children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from that of children with heterosexual parents” (American Psychological Association).
Like other minority groups, gay and lesbian people are often subject to discrimination and violence, including bullying in schools and social media. Damage from the stigma that many attach to sexual orientation can cause the same stress and resulting physical and psychological issues that are somewhat higher in most minority groups. Lack of access to marriage even produces an average economic disadvantage of more than $400,000 for a family.
Denying civil marriage to our gay, lesbian, and bisexual citizens reinforces society’s prejudices. It can hurt people whose goal is the same as heterosexual spouses: to love each other and live a fulfilling life.
Minnesota already has a law against same-sex marriage. Let’s not put that discrimination in our Constitution too! — Adapted by Emily A. Blegen, M.A., Elk River native; endorsed by the Minnesota Psychological Association Marriage Equality Task Force