Kristin Perry, et al v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al

Filing 163

Submitted (ECF) Amicus brief for review (by government or with consent per FRAP 29(a)). Submitted by The American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Date of service: 10/25/2010. [7521351] (PMS)

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Kristin Perry, et al v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al Doc. 163 No. 10-16696 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT KRISTIN PERRY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, et al., Defendant-Intervenors-Aeppellants. Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of California Civil Case No. 09-CV-2292 VRW (Honorable Vaughn R. Walker) BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, THE CALIFORNIA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, AND THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF-APPELLEES Nathalie F.P. Gilfoyle AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION 750 First Street, N.E. Washington, DC 20002 Tel: (202) 336-6100 Fax: (202) 336-6069 Ngilfoyle@apa.org Paul M. Smith William M. Hohengarten Julia K. Martinez JENNER & BLOCK LLP 1099 New York Ave, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Tel: (202) 639-6000 Fax: (202) 639-6066 Psmith@jenner.com Counsel for Amicus Curiae American Psychological Association Dockets.Justia.com TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF AUTHORITIES .................................................................................... ii IDENTITY AND INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE..................................................1 ARGUMENT ............................................................................................................. 2 I. II. The Nature Of Scientific Evidence And Its Presentation In This Brief. ......... 2 Sexual Orientation And Homosexuality..........................................................5 A. B. III. Homosexuality Is A Normal Expression Of Human Sexuality. ........... 5 Sexual Orientation Is Generally Not Chosen And Is Resistant To Change. ............................................................................................ 7 Gay Men And Lesbians Form Stable, Committed Relationships That Are Equivalent To Heterosexual Relationships In Essential Aspects. ................................................................................................. 9 The Institution Of Marriage Offers Social, Psychological, And Health Benefits That Are Denied To Same-Sex Couples. .................. 13 Many Same-Sex Couples Are Currently Raising Children. ............... 18 There Is No Scientific Basis For Concluding That Gay And Lesbian Parents Are Any Less Fit Or Capable Than Heterosexual Parents, Or That Their Children Are Any Less Psychologically Healthy And Well Adjusted. .................................... 19 The Children Of Same-Sex Couples Will Benefit If Their Parents Are Allowed To Marry...........................................................26 Sexual Orientation And Relationships ............................................................ 9 A. B. IV. The Children Of Lesbians And Gay Men......................................................18 A. B. C. CONCLUSION........................................................................................................27 APPENDIX ........................................................................................................... A-1 i TABLE OF AUTHORITIES TEXTS, TREATISES, AND OTHER AUTHORITIES J. M. Adams & W.H. Jones, The Conceptualization of Marital Commitment: An Integrative Analysis, 72 J. Personality & Soc. Psychol. 1177 (1997).............................................................................................................17 P.R. Amato & B. Keith, Parental Divorce and the Well-Being of Children: A Meta-Analysis, 110 Psychol. Bull. 26 (1991) ............................................ 26 Am. Academy of Pediatrics, Sexual Orientation and Adolescents (2004), available at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/ cgi/reprint/pediatrics;113/6/1827.pdf.........................................................................9 Am. Ass'n for Marriage and Fam. Therapy, Position on Couples and Families (2005)................................................................................................2 Am. Ass'n for Marriage and Fam. Therapy, Reparative/Conversion Therapy (2009)...............................................................................................................9 Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Position Statement on Homosexuality and Civil Rights (1973), printed in 131 Am. J. Psychiatry 497 (1974) .......................... 7 Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Position Statement: Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation (1998) available at http://www.psych.org/ Departments/EDU/Library/APAOfficialDocumentsandRelated/ PositionStatements/199820.aspx ..................................................................... 9 Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Position Statement: Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage (2005), available at http://www.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/ 200502.pdf .................................................................................................2, 25 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, 7 Encyclopedia of Psychol. 260 (A.E. Kazdin ed., 2000) .............................................................................................................. 24 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives, 30 Am. Psychologist 620 (1975)..........................................7 ii Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (2009)...............................................................................................................8 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts (2009).................................9 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (1998), available at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/ resources/sexual-orientation.aspx....................................................................9 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage (2004).......13 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution, Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Parents and Children (2004) ...................................................................................... 25 N. Anderssen et al., Outcomes for Children with Lesbian or Gay Parents, 43 Scand. J. Psychol. 335 (2002)........................................................................19 K.F. Balsam et al., Three-Year Follow-Up of Same-Sex Couples Who Had Civil Unions in Vermont, Same-Sex Couples Not in Civil Unions, and Heterosexual Married Couples, 44 Developmental Psychol. 102 (2008).............................................................................................................12 A. Bell, M. Weinberg & S. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women (1981) ........................................................ 7 P. Berger & H. Kellner, Marriage and the Construction of Reality: An Exercise in the Microsociology of Knowledge, 46 Diogenes 1 (1964) ......... 13 S.L. Brown, The Effect of Union Type on Psychological Well-Being: Depression Among Cohabitors Versus Marrieds, 41 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 241 (2000) ...................................................................................15, 16 R.P.D. Burton, Global Integrative Meaning as a Mediating Factor in the Relationship Between Social Roles and Psychological Distress, 39 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 201 (1998)..................................................................14 iii R.W. Chan et al., Psychological Adjustment Among Children Conceived via Donor Insemination by Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers, 69 Child Dev. 443 (1998) ............................................................................................. 27 S.D. Cochran et al., Prevalence of Mental Disorders, Psychological Distress, and Mental Health Services Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in the United States, 71 J. Consulting & Clinical Psychol. 53 (2003) ......................................................................................... 11 2 Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science 683 (W.E. Craighead & C.B. Nemeroff eds., 3d ed. 2001) ........................................6, 24 A.R. D'Augelli et al., Lesbian and Gay Youths' Aspirations for Marriage and Raising Children, 1 J. of LGBT Issues in Counseling 77(2008) ....... 9-10 G. Downey & J.C. Coyne, Children of Depressed Parents: An Integrative Review, 108 Psychol. Bull. 50 (1990) ........................................................... 27 D.B. Downey et al., Sex of parent and children's well-being in single-parent households, 60 J. of Marriage and the Family 878 (1998)............................23 E. Durkheim, Suicide: A Study in Sociology (J.A. Spaulding & G. Simpson trans., Glencoe, Ill: Free Press 1951) (original work published 1897) ......... 13 S. Erich, et al., A Comparative Analysis of Adoptive Family Functioning with Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Parents and Their Children, 1 J. of GLBT Family Studies 43 (2005)...............................................................21 S. Erich et al., Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Families: An Exploratory Study of Family Functioning, Adoptive Child's Behavior, and Familial Support Networks, 9 J. of Family Social Work 17 (2005) .......................................... 21 R. H. Farr et al., Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?, 14-3 Applied Developmental Sci. 164 (2010) ..................................................................... 21 G.J. Gates, Same-Sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey (2006), available at http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/ publications/SameSexCouplesandGLBpopACS.pdf ...................................11 iv S. Golombok et al., Children with Lesbian Parents: A Community Study, 39 Dev. Psychol. 20 (2003) ................................................................................ 21 W.R. Gove et al., Does Marriage Have Positive Effects on the Psychological Well-Being of the Individual?, 24 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 122 (1983) ....... 16 W.R. Gove et al., The Effect of Marriage on the Well-Being of Adults: A Theoretical Analysis, 11 J. Fam. Issues 4 (1990) ..............................13, 14, 15 D. Haldeman, The Practice and Ethics of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy, 62 J. of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 221 (1994) ................... 9 R. Harding & E. Peel `We Do'? International Perspectives on Equality, Legality and Same-Sex Relationships, 7 Lesbian & Gay Psychol. Review 123 (2006) .......................................................................................... 9 T.B. Heaton & S.L. Albrecht, Stable Unhappy Marriages, 53 J. Marriage & Fam. 747 (1991).............................................................................................17 G. Herek, et al., Correlates of Internalized Homophobia In a Community Sample of Lesbians and Gay Men, 2 J. Gay and Lesbian Med. Ass'n 17 (1998)..........................................................................................................8 G. Herek, Demographic, Psychological, and Social Characteristics of SelfIdentified Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in a US Probability Sample, Sex Res. Soc. Policy (2010) ........................................................8, 10 G.M. Herek, Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in the United States: A Social Science Perspective, 61 Am. Psychol. 607 (2006) ............ 19 N.J. Johnson et al., Marital Status and Mortality: The National Longitudinal Mortality Study, 10 Annals Epidemiology 224 (2000)............15 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Inside-OUT: A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public's Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation 31 (2001), available at http://www.kff.org/ kaiserpolls/upload/ National-Surveys-on-Experiences-of-Lesbians-Gays-and-Bisexualsand-the-Public-s-Views-Related-to-Sexual-Orientation.pdf ...................10, 11 v J.K. Kiecolt-Glaser & T.L. Newton, Marriage and Health: His and Hers, 127 Psychol. Bull. 472 (2001) ....................................................................... 16 L.A. Kurdek, Are Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples Really Different from Heterosexual Married Couples?, 66 J. Marriage & Fam. 880 (2004).............................................................................................................12 L.A. Kurdek, Change in Relationship Quality for Partners from Lesbian, Gay Male, and Heterosexual Couples, 22 J. of Fam. Psychol. 701 (2008).............................................................................................................12 L.A. Kurdek, Differences Between Heterosexual-Nonparent Couples and Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual-Parent Couples, 22 J. Fam. Issues 727 (2001)......................................................................................................12 L.A. Kurdek, Lesbian and Gay Couples, in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities Over the Lifespan (A.R. D'Augelli & C.J. Patterson eds. 1995) .............................................................................................................. 10 L.A. Kurdek, Relationship Outcomes and their Predictors: Longitudinal Evidence from Heterosexual Married, Gay Cohabiting, and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples, 60 J. Marriage & Fam. 553 (1998)..............................17 L.A. Kurdek, What Do We Know About Gay and Lesbian Couples? 14 Current Directions in Psychological Science 251 (2005) ............................. 12 G. Levinger, Marital Cohesiveness and Dissolution: An Integrative Review, 27 J. Marriage & Fam. 19 (1965) .................................................................. 17 R.A. Mackey et al., Psychological Intimacy in the Lasting Relationships of Heterosexual and Same-Gender Couples, 43 Sex Roles 201 (2000) ...........12 S. McLanahan & G. Sandefur, Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps 39 (1994).........................................................................20 T.C. Mills et al., Health-Related Characteristics of Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Comparison of Those Living in "Gay Ghettos" with Those Living Elsewhere, 91 Am. J. Pub. Health 980 (2001) ............................. 10-11 vi J.E. Murray, Marital Protection and Marital Selection: Evidence from a Historical-Prospective Sample of American Men, 37 Demography 511 (2000).............................................................................................................15 P.M. Nardi, Friends, Lovers, and Families: The Impact of AIDS on Gay and Lesbian Relationship, in In Changing Times: Gay Men and Lesbians Encounter HIV/AIDS 55 (M.P. Levine, et al. eds., 1997) ............................. 10 Nat'l Ass'n of Soc. Workers, Policy Statement: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues, in Social World Speaks 193 (1997) ................................................... 25 Nat'l Ass'n of Social Workers, Position Statement: "Reparative" and "Conversion" Therapies for Lesbians and Gay Men (2000), available at http://www.naswdc.org/diversity/lgb/reparative.asp...................................9 S.L. Nock, A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships, 16 J. Fam. Issues 53 (1995)....................................................................................14 C.A. Parks, Lesbian Parenthood: A Review of the Literature, 68 Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 376 (1998)...........................................................................21 C.J. Patterson, Family Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, 62 J. Marriage & Fam. 1052 (2000) ............................................19, 22, 23, 24 C.J. Patterson, Gay Fathers, in The Role of the Father in Child Development (M.E. Lamb ed., 4th ed. 2004)...........................................................21, 23, 24 C.J. Patterson & L.V. Friel, Sexual Orientation and Fertility, in Infertility in the Modern World: Biosocial Perspectives 238 (G. Bentley & N. Mascie-Taylor eds., 2000) ............................................................................. 18 J. Pawelski et al., The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children, 118 Pediatrics 349 (2006).....................................................................................19 L.A. Peplau & L.R. Spalding, The Close Relationships of Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals, in Close Relationships: A Sourcebook 114 (Hendrick & Hendrick eds., 2000) ..........................................................10, 12 vii L.A. Peplau & A.W. Fingerhut, The Close Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, 58 Ann. Review of Psych. 405 (2007)..........................................12 L.A. Peplau & K.P. Beals, The Family Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men, in Handbook of Family Communication 233 (A.L. Vangelisti ed., 2004) ........ 12 L.A. Peplau, Lesbian and Gay Relationships, in Homosexuality: Implications for Public Policy (J.C. Gonsiorek & J.D. Weinrich eds., 1991) .............................................................................................................. 12 E.C. Perrin & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents, 109 Pediatrics 341 (2002).............................18, 19, 22, 23 E.C. Perrin, Sexual Orientation in Child and Adolescent Health Care (2002).......................................................................................................21, 22 D. Previti & P.R. Amato, Why Stay Married? Rewards, Barriers, and Marital Stability, 65 J. Marriage & Fam. 561 (2003) ................................... 17 G. Remafedi et al., Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents, 89 Pediatrics 714 (1992).......................................................................................7 G.I. Roisman et al., Adult Romantic Relationships as Contexts for Human Development: A Multimethod Comparison of Same-Sex Couples with Opposite-Sex Dating, Engaged, and Married Dyads, 44 Developmental Psychol. 91 (2008) ............................................................... 12 C.E. Ross et al., The Impact of the Family on Health: The Decade in Review, 52 J. Marriage Fam. 1059 (1990)..............................................15, 16 C.E. Ross, Reconceptualizing Marital Status as a Continuum of Social Attachment, 57 J. Marriage & Fam. 129 (1995)............................................15 M. Rutter & D. Quinton, Parental Psychiatric Disorder: Effects on Children, 14 Psychol. Med. 853 (1984) ........................................................ 27 R.C. Savin-Williams," . . . And Then I Became Gay": Young Men's Stories (1998)...............................................................................................................7 viii R.C. Savin-Williams, Gay and Lesbian Youth: Expressions of Identity 77 (1990)...............................................................................................................8 R.C. Savin-Williams & L.M. Diamond, Sexual Identity Trajectories Among Sexual-Minority Youths: Gender Comparisons, 29 Archives of Sexual Behavior 419 (2000) ........................................................................................ 7 Sexual Orientation, in Am. Psychol. Ass'n, 7 Encyclopedia of Psychology 260 (A.E. Kazdin ed., 2000)............................................................................6 T. Simmons & M. O'Connell, Married-Couple and Unmarried-Partner Households: 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau 2003), available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-5.pdf................................11, 18 R.W. Simon, Revisiting the Relationships Among Gender, Marital Status, and Mental Health, 107 Am. J. Soc. 1065 (2002).........................................15 M. Smith, Parental Mental Health: Disruptions To Parenting and Outcomes for Children, 9 Child & Fam. Soc. Work 3 (2004) ...................... 27 J. Stacey & T.J. Biblarz, (How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?, 66 Am. Soc. Rev. 159 (2001) .............................................19, 20, 22 S. Stack & J.R. Eshleman, Marital Status and Happiness: A 17-Nation Study, 60 J. Marriage & Fam. 527 (1998) ...............................................14, 16 J.L. Wainright et al, Psychosocial Adjustment, School Outcomes, and Romantic Relationships of Adolescents with Same-Sex Parents, 75 Child Dev. 1886 (2004) ................................................................................. 19 L.K. White & A. Booth, Divorce Over the Life Course: The Role of Marital Happiness, 12 J. Fam. Issues 5 (1991) .......................................................... 17 Joy S. Whitman, et al., Am. Counseling Ass'n, Exploring Ethical Issues Related to Conversion or Reparative Therapy (1999), available at http://www.counseling.org/Publications/Counseling TodayArticles.aspx?AGuid=4b4ac742-9a58-4086-bcff-96e925cc3599 ........ 9 ix K. Williams, Has the Future of Marriage Arrived? A Contemporary Examination of Gender, Marriage, and Psychological Well-Being, 44 J. Health Soc. Behav. 470 (2003) .................................................................. 16 x IDENTITY AND INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE The American Psychological Association is a nonprofit professional organization founded in 1892. The Association has approximately 150,000 members, including the majority of psychologists holding doctoral degrees from accredited universities in this country. Among the Association's major purposes is to increase and disseminate knowledge regarding human behavior and to foster the application of psychology to important human concerns. Human sexuality and familial relationships are professional concerns of a substantial number of the Association's members, either as researchers or as clinicians. The California Psychological Association (CPA), incorporated in 1948, has 4,000 members and is the largest state psychological association in the United States. The members of CPA represent licensed psychologists from all areas of psychology including clinical practice, public service, teaching and research. The mission of CPA is to strengthen, promote, and sustain the It achieves that mission through discipline and practice of psychology. legislative advocacy, education of its members, and service to the public. Additionally, through the CPA Foundation, CPA works to increase the number of psychologists who are proficient at working with diverse populations and to educate the public, graduate psychology students, and practicing psychologists 1 regarding how psychological knowledge promotes community health and well being. The American Psychiatric Association has more than 38,000 members and is the Nation's largest organization of physicians specializing in psychiatry. The American Psychiatric Association joins this brief for the reasons expressed in its 2005 position statement, Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage, reproduced in the Appendix to this brief. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), founded in 1942, is a national professional association representing the field of marriage and family therapy and the professional interests of over 50,000 marriage and family therapists in the United States. AAMFT joins this brief for the reasons expressed in its 2005 Position on Couples and Families, reproduced in the Appendix to this brief. All parties have consented to the filing of this brief. ARGUMENT I. The Nature of Scientific Evidence and Its Presentation in this Brief. In the informed judgment of amici, which represent the leading national associations of psychological, psychiatric, and marriage/family therapy professionals, this brief presents an accurate and balanced summary of the current 2 state of scientific and professional knowledge concerning sexual orientation and the family relevant to this case. The following summarizes the professional standards used in selecting individual studies and literature reviews for citation and for drawing conclusions from research data and theory. (1) Amici are bound by their respective ethical principles to be accurate and truthful in describing research findings and in characterizing the current state of scientific knowledge. (2) This brief relies on the best empirical research available, focusing on general patterns rather than any single study. Most original empirical studies and literature reviews cited herein have been peer-reviewed and published in reputable academic journals. Not every published paper meets this standard because academic journals differ widely in their publication criteria and the rigor of their peer review. Chapters, academic books, and technical reports, which typically are not subject to the same peer-review standards as journal articles, when they report research employing rigorous methods, are authored by wellestablished researchers, and accurately reflect professional consensus about the current state of knowledge. The sole criteria applied assessing the scientific literature are those relevant to scientific validity; studies have neither been included nor excluded because they support or contradict particular conclusions. 3 (3) Every study cited herein has been critically evaluated to assess its methodology, including the reliability and validity of the measures and tests it employed, and the quality of its data-collection procedures and statistical analyses. The adequacy of the study's sample, which must always be considered in terms of the specific research question posed by the study is also evaluated. (4) Scientific research cannot prove that a particular phenomenon never occurs or that two variables are never related. When repeated studies with different samples consistently fail to establish the existence of a phenomenon or a relationship between two variables, researchers become increasingly convinced that the phenomenon does not exist or the variables are unrelated. In the absence of supporting data from prior studies, if a researcher wants to argue that two phenomena are related, the burden of proof is on that researcher to show that the relationship exists. (5) No empirical study is perfect in its design and execution. All scientific studies can be constructively criticized, and scientists continually try to identify ways to improve and refine their own work and that of their colleagues. When a scientist identifies limitations or qualifications to a study's findings (whether the scientist's own research or that of a colleague), or notes areas in which additional research is needed, this should not necessarily be interpreted as a dismissal or 4 discounting of the research. Rather, critiques are part of the process by which science is advanced. Notably, in ruling that Proposition 8 violates the Constitution, the district court credited testimony and affidavits from leading social and scientific experts. Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F.Supp.2d 921, 938-944 (N.D. Cal. 2010). These experts testified on topics such as sexual orientation and its resistance to change; the social, psychological and economic benefits of marriage; findings showing that children raised by same-sex couples are as healthy and well-adjusted as those raised by heterosexual couples; and the benefits children of same-sex couples would receive if their parents married. Id. at 938-944, 953-991. This brief cites scholarly works of several of the experts who testified before the district court, including Doctors Letitia Anne Peplau, Gregory Herek, and Michael Lamb. The testimony and research of those experts relied on by the district court accord with the rigorous scientific standards outlined above and reflect the scientific consensus. II. Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality A. Homosexuality Is A Normal Expression of Human Sexuality. Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions primarily to one or both sexes. It also encompasses an individual's sense of personal and social identity 5 based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them. Although sexual orientation ranges along a continuum from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual, it is usually discussed in three categories: heterosexual (having sexual and romantic attraction primarily or exclusively to members of the other sex), homosexual (having sexual and romantic attraction primarily or exclusively to members of one's own sex), and bisexual (having a significant degree of sexual and romantic attraction to both men and women). Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and sexuality, including biological sex (anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (psychological sense of being male or female), and social gender role (adherence to cultural norms defining feminine and masculine behavior). For decades the consensus of mental health professionals and researchers has been that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality and pose no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and 1 1 See Sexual Orientation, Am. Psychol. Ass'n, 7 Encyclopedia of Psychology 260 (A.E. Kazdin ed., 2000); 2 The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 683 (W.E. Craighead & C.B. Nemeroff eds., 3d ed. 2001). 6 productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships. B. 2 Sexual Orientation Is Generally Not Chosen And Is Resistant To Change. There is no consensus among scientists about the exact causes of sexual orientation. Regardless of cause, however, research shows that most gay men and many or most lesbians do not experience their sexual orientation as the result of a voluntary choice and that sexual orientation is highly resistant to change. Current scientific and professional understanding is that the core feelings and attractions which form the basis for adult sexual orientation typically emerge between middle childhood and early adolescence without any necessary prior sexual experience. Most gay men and lesbian women do not experience their See Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Position Statement on Homosexuality and Civil Rights (1973), printed in 131 Am. J. Psychiatry 497 (1974); Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives, 30 Am. Psychologist 620, 633 (1975). 3 See R.C. Savin-Williams," . . . And Then I Became Gay": Young Men's Stories, at 1-19 (1998) (reviewing research); A. Bell, M. Weinberg & S. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women 186-87 (1981); G. Remafedi et al., Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents, 89 Pediatrics 714 (1992) (reporting data from a study of Minnesota public school students in grades 7-12, finding that only 39% of those identifying as homosexual reported any homosexual experience); R.C. Savin-Williams & L.M. Diamond, Sexual Identity Trajectories Among Sexual-Minority Youths: Gender Comparisons, 29 Archives of Sexual Behavior 419 (2000) (reporting data from a sample of 164 sexual-minority young adults, aged 17-25 years, finding that first recognizing one's same-sex attractions preceded first same-sex sexual experience by, on average, approximately 6 years for males, and 7 years for females). 7 2 3 sexual orientation as the result of a voluntary choice. In a U.S. national probability sample of 662 self-identified lesbian, gay and bisexual adults, 88% reported perceiving no choice at all about their sexual orientation. 4 Research and the clinical experience of amici's members also indicate that, once established, sexual orientation is resistant to change. Nonetheless, several groups and individuals have offered clinical interventions--sometimes called "conversion" or "reparative" therapies--that purport to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. No scientifically adequate research has shown that such interventions are effective or safe. Indeed, research suggests the opposite. An American Psychological Association task force conducting a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and indeed can be harmful. Accordingly, all major national mental G. Herek, Demographic, Psychological, and Social Characteristics of SelfIdentified Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in a US Probability Sample, Sex Res. Soc. Policy (2010). See also G. Herek, et al., Correlates of Internalized Homophobia In a Community Sample of Lesbians and Gay Men, 2 J. Gay and Lesbian Med. Ass'n 17 (1998) (community-based sample of 60 gay men and 66 lesbians in which 80% of the gay men and 62% of the lesbians said they had "no choice at all" about their sexual orientation); R.C. Savin-Williams, Gay and Lesbian Youth: Expressions of Identity 77, 79 (1990) (reporting data from a study of 317 gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults and teens, finding that on average, they perceived their sexual orientation to be beyond their conscious control, with males expressing this belief more strongly than females). 5 4 5 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (2009); see 8 health organizations have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. III. Sexual Orientation and Relationships A. Gay Men and Lesbians Form Stable, Committed Relationships That Are Equivalent to Heterosexual Relationships in Essential Aspects. 6 Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay men and lesbians desire to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. 7 Substantial numbers are also Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts (2009) (both available at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/sexual-orientation.aspx). See also D. Haldeman, The Practice and Ethics of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy, 62 J. of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 221, 224 (1994). 6 See Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution supra note 5 Am. Psychiatric Ass'n, Position Statement: Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation (1998), available at http://www.psych.org/Departments/EDU/Library/APAOfficial DocumentsandRelated/PositionStatements/199820.aspx; Am. Ass'n for Marriage and Fam. Therapy, Reparative/Conversion Therapy (2009) (reproduced in Appendix); Nat'l Ass'n of Social Workers, Position Statement: "Reparative" and "Conversion" Therapies for Lesbians and Gay Men (2000), available at http://www.naswdc.org/diversity/lgb/reparative.asp; Joy S. Whitman, et al., Am. Counseling Ass'n, Exploring Ethical Issues Related to Conversion or Reparative Therapy (1999), available at http://www.counseling.org/Publications/Counseling TodayArticles.aspx?AGuid=4b4ac742-9a58-4086-bcff-96e925cc3599; American Academy of Pediatrics, Sexual Orientation and Adolescents (2004), available at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;113/6/1827.pdf. 7 In a 2006 study of over 1,200 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, 74% of lesbians and 63% of all surveyed reported that they want to get married some day. R. Harding & E. Peel `We Do'? International Perspectives on Equality, Legality and Same-Sex Relationships, 7 Lesbian & Gay Psychol. Review, 123-140 (2006). In a 2008 study of 528 sexual minority youth ages 16 to 22, 78% of females and 61% of males reported that they would be very likely or extremely likely to get married if it were legal. A.R. D'Augelli et al., Lesbian and Gay Youths' 9 successful in doing so. Empirical studies using nonrepresentative samples of gay men and lesbians show that the vast majority of participants have been involved in a committed relationship at some point in their lives, that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship (across studies, roughly 40-70% of gay men and 45-80% of lesbians), and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years. 8 Recent surveys based on more representative samples of gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals support these findings and indicate that many same-sex couples are cohabiting. 9 An analysis of data Aspirations for Marriage and Raising Children, 1 J. of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 77-98 (2008). In a 2000 poll with a probability sample of 405 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, 74% responded affirmatively to the question, "If you could get legally married to someone of the same sex, would you like to do that someday or not?" Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Inside-Out: A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public's Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation 31 (2001), available at http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/National-Surveys-onExperiences-of-Lesbians-Gays-and-Bisexuals-and-the-Public-s-Views-Relatedto-Sexual-Orientation.pdf. See L.A. Peplau & L.R. Spalding, The Close Relationships of Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals, Close Relationships: A Sourcebook 114 (Hendrick & Hendrick eds., 2000); L.A. Kurdek, Lesbian and Gay Couples, in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities over the Lifespan 243 (A.R. D'Augelli & C.J. Patterson eds., 1995); P.M. Nardi, Friends, Lovers, and Families: The Impact of AIDS on Gay and Lesbian Relationship in In Changing Times: Gay Men and Lesbians Encounter HIV/AIDS 55, 71-72 (Tables 3.1, 3.2) (Martin P. Levine et al. eds., 1997). G. Herek et al., Demographic, Psychological, and Social Characteristics of Self-Identified Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in a US Probability Sample, 7 Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 176, 192 (2010). pdf; T.C. Mills et al., Health-Related Characteristics of Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Comparison 10 9 8 from the 2000 US Census reported that same-sex couples headed more than 92,000 California households. 10 More recent Census data indicate that the number of reported same-sex cohabiting couples in California was approximately 107,700 in 2005. 11 Empirical research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar challenges concerning issues such as intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address of Those Living in "Gay Ghettos" with Those Living Elsewhere, 91 Am. J. Pub. Health, 980, 982 (Table 1) (2001); S.D. Cochran et al., Prevalence of Mental Disorders, Psychological Distress, and Mental Services Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in the United States, 71 J. Consulting & Clinical Psychol. 53, 56 (2003); Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Inside-OUT: A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public's Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation, at 33 (2001). T. Simmons & M. O'Connell, Married-Couple and Unmarried-Partner Households: 2000, at 4 (U.S. Census Bureau 2003) (Tables 1, 2), available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-5.pdf. These findings are among the best available, although they are not definitive. G.J. Gates, Same-Sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey (2006), available at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8h08t0zf. 11 11 10 those challenges. 12 Empirical research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have similar or higher levels of relationship satisfaction than do heterosexual couples. 13 Based on the empirical research findings, the American Psychological Association has concluded that "[p]sychological research on relationships and L.A. Kurdek, Change in Relationship Quality for Partners from Lesbian, Gay Male, and Heterosexual Couples, 22 J. of Fam. Psychol., 701-711 (2008); L.A. Kurdek, Are Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples Really Different from Heterosexual Married Couples?, 66 J. Marriage & Fam. 880 (2004); L.A. Kurdek, Differences Between Heterosexual-Nonparent Couples and Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual-Parent Couples, 22 J. Fam. Issues 727 (2001); R.A. Mackey et al., Psychological Intimacy in the Lasting Relationships of Heterosexual and Same-Gender Couples, 43 Sex Roles 201 (2000); G.I. Roisman et al., Adult Romantic Relationships as Contexts for Human Development: A Multimethod Comparison of Same-Sex Couples with Opposite-Sex Dating, Engaged, and Married Dyads, 44 Developmental Psychol., 91-101 (2008); see generally L.A. Kurdek, What Do We Know About Gay and Lesbian Couples? 14 Current Directions in Psychological Sci. 251-254 (2005); L.A. Peplau & A.W. Fingerhut, The Close Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men. 58 Ann. Review of Psych. 405-24 (2007); L.A. Peplau & L.R. Spalding, supra note 8, 114. 13 K.F. Balsam et al., Three-Year Follow-Up of Same-Sex Couples Who Had Civil Unions in Vermont, Same-Sex Couples Not in Civil Unions, and Heterosexual Married Couples, 44 Developmental Psychol., 102-116 (2008) (compared to heterosexual married participants, same-sex couples reported greater relationship quality, compatibility, and intimacy and lower levels of conflict); L.A. Kurdek, Change in Relationship Quality for Partners From Lesbian, Gay Male, and Heterosexual Couples, 22 J. of Fam. Psychol., 701-711 (2008); Peplau & Spalding, supra note 8, at 114 ("Empirical research has found striking similarities in the reports of love and satisfaction among contemporary lesbian, gay and heterosexual couples."); see also R.A. Mackey, supra note 12; L.A. Peplau & K.P. Beals, The Family Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men, in Handbook of Family Communication 233, 236 (A.L. Vangelisti ed., 2004); L.A. Peplau, Lesbian and Gay Relationships, in Homosexuality: Implications for Public Policy 195 (J.C. Gonsiorek & J.D. Weinrich eds., 1991). 12 12 couples provides no evidence to justify discrimination against same-sex couples." B. 14 The Institution of Marriage Offers Social, Psychological, and Health Benefits That Are Denied to Same-Sex Couples. Social scientists have long understood that marriage as a social institution has a profound effect on the lives of the individuals who inhabit it. In the nineteenth century, for example, the sociologist Emile Durkheim observed that marriage helps to protect the individual from "anomie," or social disruption and breakdowns of norms. 15 Expanding on this notion, twentieth-century sociologists characterized marriage as "a social arrangement that creates for the individual the sort of order in which he can experience his life as making sense" 16 and suggested that "in our society the role that most frequently provides a strong positive sense of identity, self-worth, and mastery is marriage." 17 Although it is difficult to quantify how the meaning of life changes for individuals once they are married, empirical research demonstrates that marriage has distinct benefits 14 Am. Psychol. Ass'n, Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage (2004) (reproduced in Appendix). E. Durkheim, Suicide: A Study in Sociology 259 (J.A. Spaulding & G. Simpson trans., Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press 1951) (original work published 1897). P. Berger & H. Kellner, Marriage and the Construction of Reality: An Exercise In the Microsociology of Knowledge, 46 Diogenes 1 (1964). W.R. Gove et al., The Effect of Marriage on the Well-Being of Adults: A Theoretical Analysis, 11 J. Fam. Issues 4, 16 (1990). 13 17 16 15 that extend beyond the material necessities of life. 18 As a legal institution, marriage also gives legally wed spouses access to a host of economic and social benefits and obligations. Research establishing that both tangible and intangible elements of the marital relationship have important implications for the psychological and physical health of married individuals and for the relationship itself. Because they are denied the opportunity to marry, California partners in same-sex couples are denied these benefits. Because marriage rights have been granted to same-sex couples only recently and only in a few jurisdictions, no empirical studies have yet been published that systematically compare married same-sex couples to unmarried same-sex couples. However, a large body of scientific research has compared married and unmarried heterosexual couples and individuals. Based on their scientific and clinical expertise, amici believe it is appropriate to extrapolate from the empirical research literature for heterosexual couples--with qualifications as necessary--to anticipate the likely effects marriage would have on the segment 18 See S. Stack & J.R. Eshleman, Marital Status and Happiness: A 17-Nation Study, 60 J. Marriage & Fam. 527 (1998); R.P.D. Burton, Global Integrative Meaning as a Mediating Factor In the Relationship Between Social Roles and Psychological Distress, 39 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 201 (1998); S.L. Nock, A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships, 16 J. Fam. Issues 53, 53 (1995); Gove et al., supra note 17, at 5. 14 of the sexual minority population that would choose marriage if allowed. 19 Amici believe that the potential benefits of marriage for gay men and lesbians in samesex couples are similar to those that have been documented for heterosexuals. Married men and women generally experience better physical and mental health than their unmarried counterparts. 20 These health benefits do not appear to result simply from being in an intimate relationship because most (although not all) studies have found that married individuals generally manifest greater wellbeing than comparable individuals in heterosexual unmarried cohabiting couples. 19 21 The health benefits of marriage may be due partly to married couples Researchers recognize that comparisons between married and unmarried heterosexual couples are complicated by the possibility that observed differences might be due to self-selection. After extensive study, however, researchers have concluded that benefits associated with marriage result largely from the institution itself rather than self-selection. See, e.g., Gove et al., supra note 17 at 10; J.E. Murray, Marital Protection and Marital Selection: Evidence from a Historical-Prospective Sample of American Men, 37 Demography 511 (2000). It is reasonable to expect that same-sex couples who choose to marry, like their heterosexual counterparts, will benefit from the institution of marriage itself. See N.J. Johnson et al., Marital Status and Mortality: The National Longitudinal Mortality Study, 10 Annals Epidemiology 224 (2000); C.E. Ross et al., The Impact of the Family on Health: The Decade in Review, 52 J. Marriage & Fam. 1059 (1990); R.W. Simon, Revisiting the Relationships Among Gender, Marital Status, and Mental Health, 107 Am. J. Soc. 1065 (2002). See supra note 18; see also S.L. Brown, The Effect of Union Type on Psychological Well-Being: Depression Among Cohabitors Versus Marrieds, 41 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 241 (2000). But see, e.g., C.E. Ross, Reconceptualizing Marital Status as a Continuum of Social Attachment, 57 J. Marriage & Fam. 129 (1995) (failing to detect significant differences in depression between married heterosexuals and comparable cohabiting heterosexual couples). 15 21 20 enjoying greater economic and financial security than unmarried individuals. 22 Of course, marital status alone does not guarantee greater health or happiness. People who are unhappy with their marriage often manifest lower levels of wellbeing than their unmarried counterparts, and experiencing marital discord and dissatisfaction is often associated with negative health effects. 23 Nevertheless, married couples who are satisfied with their relationships consistently manifest higher levels of happiness, psychological well-being, and physical health than the unmarried. Being married also is a source of stability and commitment for the relationship between spouses. Social scientists have long recognized that marital commitment is a function not only of attractive forces (i.e., rewarding features of the partner or relationship) but also of external forces that serve as barriers or constraints on dissolving the relationship. Barriers to terminating a marriage include feelings of obligation to one's spouse, children, and other family members; moral and religious values about divorce; legal restrictions; financial See, e.g., C.E. Ross et al., The Impact of the Family on Health: The Decade in Review, 52 J. Marriage Fam. 1059 (1990); Stack & Eshleman, supra note 18; Brown, supra note 21. 23 22 See W.R. Gove et al., Does Marriage Have Positive Effects on the Psychological Well-Being of the Individual?, 24 J. Health & Soc. Behav. 122 (1983); K. Williams, Has the Future of Marriage Arrived? A Contemporary Examination of Gender, Marriage, and Psychological Well-Being, 44 J. Health Soc. Behav. 470 (2003); J.K. Kiecolt-Glaser & T.L. Newton, Marriage and Health: His and Hers, 127 Psychol. Bull. 472 (2001). 16 concerns; and the expected disapproval of friends and the community. 24 In the absence of adequate rewards, the existence of barriers alone is not sufficient to sustain a marriage in the long term. Not surprisingly, perceiving one's intimate relationship primarily in terms of rewards, rather than barriers to dissolution, is likely to be associated with greater relationship satisfaction. 25 Nonetheless, the perceived presence of barriers is negatively correlated with divorce and thus the presence of barriers may increase partners' motivation to seek solutions for problems when possible, rather than rushing to dissolve a relationship that might have been salvaged. 26 Lacking access to legal marriage, the primary motivation for same-sex couples to remain together derives mainly from the rewards associated with the relationship rather than from formal barriers to separation. 27 Given this fact, plus 24 See G. Levinger, Marital Cohesiveness and Dissolution: An Integrative Review, 27 J. Marriage & Fam. 19 (1965); J.M. Adams & W.H. Jones, The Conceptualization of Marital Commitment: An Integrative Analysis, 72 J. Personality & Soc. Psychol. 1177 (1997). See, e.g., D. Previti & P.R. Amato, Why Stay Married? Rewards, Barriers, and Marital Stability, 65 J. Marriage & Fam. 561 (2003). 25 26 See T.B. Heaton & S.L. Albrecht, Stable Unhappy Marriages, 53 J. Marriage & Fam. 747 (1991); L.K. White & A. Booth, Divorce Over the Life Course: The Role of Marital Happiness, 12 J. Fam. Issues 5 (1991). 27 L.A. Kurdek, Relationship Outcomes and Their Predictors: Longitudinal Evidence from Heterosexual Married, Gay Cohabiting, and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples, 60 J. Marriage & Fam. 553 (1998). 17 the legal and prejudicial obstacles that same-sex partners face, the prevalence and durability of same-sex relationships are striking. IV. The Children of Lesbians and Gay Men A. Many Same-Sex Couples Are Currently Raising Children. A large and ever increasing number of gay and lesbian couples, like their heterosexual counterparts, raise children together. Although data are not available to indicate the exact number of lesbian and gay parents in the United States, the 2000 Census found that, among the 92,000 California household heads who reported cohabiting with a same-sex partner, 33% of women and 20% of men had a son or daughter under 18 living in their home. 28 Because the U.S. Census does not capture all sexual minority partners, researchers estimate that considerably more parents today identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. 29 28 29 Simmons & O'Connell, supra note 10 at Table 4. See C.J. Patterson & L.V. Friel, Sexual Orientation and Fertility, in Infertility in the Modern World: Biosocial Perspectives 238 (G. Bentley & N. MascieTaylor eds., 2000); E.C. Perrin & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents, 109 Pediatrics 341 (2002). 18 B. There Is No Scientific Basis for Concluding That Gay and Lesbian Parents Are Any Less Fit or Capable Than Heterosexual Parents, or That Their Children Are Any Less Psychologically Healthy and Well Adjusted. Although it is sometimes asserted in policy debates that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same-sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children raised by heterosexual parents, those assertions find no support in the scientific research literature. 30 When comparing the outcomes of different forms of parenting, it is critically important to make appropriate comparisons. For example, differences resulting from the number of parents in a household cannot be attributed to the 30 The research literature on gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents includes more than two dozen empirical studies. These studies vary in the quality of their samples, research design, measurement methods, and data analysis techniques. However, they are impressively consistent in their failure to identify deficits in parenting abilities or in the development of children raised in a lesbian or gay household. In summarizing the findings from these studies, amici refer to several reviews of empirical literature published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and academic books and empirical studies. See, e.g., J. Stacey & T.J. Biblarz, (How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?, 66 Am. Soc. Rev. 159 (2001); Perrin & Committee, supra note 29; C.J. Patterson, Family Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, 62 J. Marriage & Fam. 1052 (2000); N. Anderssen et al., Outcomes for Children with Lesbian or Gay Parents, 43 Scand. J. Psychol. 335 (2002); J. Pawelski et al., The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children, 118 Pediatrics 349, 358-60 (2006); J.L. Wainright et al., Psychosocial Adjustment, School Outcomes, and Romantic Relationships of Adolescents with Same-Sex Parents, 75 Child Dev. 1886, 1895 (2004). As a recent article summarizes, "empirical research to date has consistently failed to find linkages between children's well-being and the sexual orientation of their parents." G.M. Herek, Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in the United States: A Social Science Perspective, 61 Am. Psychol. 607, 614 (2006). 19 parents' gender or sexual orientation. Research in households with heterosexual parents generally indicates that--all else being equal--children do better with two parenting figures rather than just one. 31 The specific research studies typically cited in this regard do not address parents' sexual orientation, however, and therefore do not permit any conclusions to be drawn about the consequences of having heterosexual versus nonheterosexual parents, or two parents who are of the same versus different genders. 32 Indeed, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has been consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents. Empirical research over the past two decades has failed to find any meaningful differences in the parenting ability of lesbian and gay parents See, e.g., S. McLanahan & G. Sandefur, Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps 39 (1994). A review of 21 published empirical studies criticizes the practice of "extrapolat[ing] (inappropriately) from research on single mother families to portray children of lesbians as more vulnerable to everything from delinquency, substance abuse, violence, and crime, to teen pregnancy, school dropout, suicide, and even poverty," and notes that "the extrapolation is `inappropriate' because lesbigay-parent families have never been a comparison group in the family structure literature on which these authors rely." Stacey & Biblarz, supra note 30, at 162 & n.2. 20 32 31 compared to heterosexual parents. Most research on this topic has focused on lesbian mothers and refutes the stereotype that lesbian parents are not as childoriented or maternal as non-lesbian mothers. Researchers have concluded that heterosexual and lesbian mothers do not differ in their parenting ability. 33 Relatively few studies have directly examined gay fathers, but those that exist find that gay men are similarly fit and able parents, as compared to heterosexual men. 34 See, e.g., R. H. Farr et al., Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?, 14-3 Applied Developmental Sci., 164, 176 (2010); E.C. Perrin, Sexual Orientation in Child and Adolescent Health Care 105, 115-16 (2002); C.A. Parks, Lesbian Parenthood: A Review of the Literature, 68 Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 376 (1998); S. Golombok et al., Children with Lesbian Parents: A Community Study, 39 Developmental Psychol. 20 (2003). 34 33 Farr et al, supra 33 at 176 (finding "no significant associations between parental sexual orientation and child adjustment" regardless of gender of parents); Perrin & Committee, supra note 29 at 342 (finding "no differences" between gay and heterosexual fathers in providing appropriate recreation, encouraging autonomy, or "dealing with general problems of parenting,"); C.J. Patterson, Gay Fathers, in The Role of the Father in Child Development 397, 413 (M.E. Lamb ed., 4th ed. 2004) (reviewing published empirical studies and concluding that "there is no reason for concern about the development of children living in the custody of gay fathers; . . . there is every reason to believe that gay fathers are as likely as heterosexual fathers to provide home environments in which children grow and flourish"); see also S. Erich et al., Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Families: An Exploratory Study of Family Functioning, Adoptive Child's Behavior, and Familial Support Networks, 9 J. of Family Social Work 17-32 (2005) (levels of family functioning did not differ significantly between lesbian mothers and gay male fathers); S. Erich, et al., A Comparative Analysis of Adoptive Family Functioning with Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Parents and Their Children, 1 J. of GLBT Family Studies 43-60 (2005) (family functioning 21 Turning to the children of gay parents, researchers reviewing the scientific literature conclude that studies "provide no evidence that psychological adjustment among lesbians, gay men, their children, or other family members is impaired in any significant way" and that "every relevant study to date shows that parental sexual orientation per se has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on children's mental health or social adjustment." 36 35 A comprehensive survey of peer-reviewed scientific studies in this area reported no differences between children raised by lesbians and those raised by heterosexuals with respect to crucial factors of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, performance in social arenas (sports, school and friendships), use of psychological counseling, mothers' and teachers' reports of children's hyperactivity, unsociability, emotional difficulty, or conduct difficulty. 37 Nor does empirical research support the misconception that having a homosexual parent has a deleterious effect on children's gender identity (i.e. scores in gay- and lesbian-parent families did not differ significantly from those of comparison group of heterosexual adoptive parents). 35 36 37 Patterson, Family Relationships, supra note 30, at 1064. Stacey & Biblarz, supra note 30, at 176. Id. at 169, 171. For additional reviews of the research literature, see Patterson, Family Relationships, supra note 30, at 1058-63; Perrin & Committee, supra note 29; Perrin, supra note 33. 22 one's psychological sense of being male or female) development. Studies concerning the children of lesbian mothers have not found any difference from those of heterosexual parents in their patterns of gender identity. As a panel of the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded on the basis of their examination of peer-reviewed studies, "[n]one of the more than 300 children studied to date have shown evidence of gender identity confusion, wished to be the other sex, or consistently engaged in cross-gender behavior." 38 Similarly, most published studies have not found reliable differences in social gender role conformity (i.e. adherence to cultural norms defining feminine and masculine behavior) between the children of lesbian and heterosexual mothers. 39 Data have not been reported on the gender identity development or 40 gender role orientation of the sons and daughters of gay fathers. 38 39 Perrin & Committee, supra note 29. See Patterson, Family Relationships, supra note 30 (reviewing published studies). Empirical data on gay fathers are relatively sparse. For a review of relevant studies, see Patterson, Gay Fathers, supra note 34. However, available empirical data do not provide a basis for assuming gay men are unsuited for parenthood. If gay parents were inherently unfit, even small studies with convenience samples would readily detect it. This has not been the case. Being raised by a single father does not appear to inherently disadvantage children's psychological wellbeing more than being raised by a single mother. D.B. Downey et al., Sex of Parent and Children's Well-Being in Single-Parent Households, 60 J. of Marriage and the Family 878-893 (1998). Homosexuality does not constitute a pathology or deficit, App. 355-356, and there is no theoretical reason to expect gay fathers to cause harm to their children. See Patterson, Gay Fathers, supra 23 40 Currently, there is no scientific consensus about the specific factors that cause an individual to become heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual--including possible biological, psychological, or social effects of the parents' sexual orientation. 41 However, the available evidence indicates that the vast majority of lesbian and gay adults were raised by heterosexual parents and the vast majority of children raised by lesbian and gay parents eventually grow up to be heterosexual. 42 Amici emphasize that the abilities of gay and lesbian persons as parents and the positive outcomes for their children are not areas where credible scientific researchers disagree. Thus, after careful scrutiny of decades of research in this area, the American Psychological Association concluded in its recent Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Parents, and Children: "There is no scientific evidence note 34. Thus, although more research is needed, available data place the burden of empirical proof on those who argue that having a gay father is harmful. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. The evaluation of amici is that, although some research may be promising in facilitating greater understanding of the development of sexual orientation, it does not presently permit a conclusion based in sound science as to the cause or causes of sexual orientation. See generally Am. Psychol. Ass'n, 7 Encyclopedia of Psychol. 260 (A.E. Kazdin ed., 2000); 2 Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science 683 (W.E. Craighead & C.B. Nemeroff eds., 3d ed. 2001). 42 41 See Patterson, Gay Fathers, supra note 34 at 407-09; Patterson, Family Relationships, supra note 30 at 1059-60. 24 that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: Lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children" and that "Research has shown that adjustment, development, and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish." 43 The National Association of Social Workers has determined that "The most striking feature of the research on lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children is the absence of pathological findings. The second most striking feature is how similar the groups of gay and lesbian parents and their children are to heterosexual parents and their children that were included in the studies." 44 Most recently, in adopting an official Position Statement in support of legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage, the American Psychiatric Association observed that "no research has shown that the children raised by lesbians and gay men are less well adjusted than those reared within heterosexual relationships." 45 These statements by the