January 13, 2010
By Paul Hogarth
[UPDATE] 2:23 PM: Plaintiffs have submitted the American Psychiatric Associations’ policy paper on gay marriage — “In the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health, APA supports gay marriage.”
Attorney: Have there been any studies on the effects of gay marriage on same-sex couples?
Peplau: My belief is based on the large body of research on heterosexual couples. Based on that, I would predict that same-sex marriage would have a beneficial impact. I looked at the marriage and divorce rate in Massachusetts — during the 4 years before marriage equality, and the 4 years after. What’s very clear to me is that there has been no change …
[So excuse me ... tell me how marriage equality harms traditional marriage?]
A: What is the effect of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts on same-sex couples [in a survey]?
P: Many say that it makes them feel “more committed” and that their families are now “more approving.” They say they felt “less worried” about legal problems. One-third now said that they now have health access to employers which they did not have access to. 25% of the couples in the survey had children — and 95% of them said their children had benefited from the marriage.
A: What’s your opinion on what impact gay marriage will have on the stability of heterosexual marriage?
P: It would have no impact. By “stability,” we mean two things. Does it mean fewer straight people will marry (“entry”), and does it mean we will have more divorces (“exit”)?
BEST QUOTE FROM PEPLAU: “I have a hard time believing that a straight couple is going to say, “Gertrude we’ve been together for 30 years. But now we have to throw in the towel because Adam and Stewart down the street are getting married.”
A: Let’s talk about exposure to marriage. What percentage of married couples would be same-sex couples?
P: I would say about 2% of all couples would be gay.