Marriage and Family Issues for LGBT People

Psychology has an important perspective to bring to the topics of marriage and family issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. APA has been actively involved in highlighting that perspective through the research-based resolutions, briefs for legal cases and additional resources featured here.

  • Who me? Marry?
    Psychologists weigh in on how the changing landscape of same-sex marriage may be affecting lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.
    Monitor on Psychology®, May 2014
  • Answers to Your Questions About Same-Sex Marriage
    With so much attention to marriage for same-sex couples playing out in the public policy arena, as well as around water coolers, kitchen tables and in classrooms, what does the science have to say about such relationships? Who is affected and how? And why is it so important? This resource is an introduction to these common questions.

  • Lesbian and Gay Parenting
    Includes a summary of research findings on lesbian mothers, gay fathers and their children; an annotated bibliography of the published psychological literature; and additional resources relevant to lesbian and gay parenting.

  • Helping the Straight Spouse When a Wife or Husband Comes Out as LGB or T
    Resources for students and psychologists to gain a better understanding of issues that may affect the straight spouse when a wife or husband comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

  • Marriage Equality and LGBT Health (PDF, 100KB)
    This fact sheet highlights empirical evidence that illustrates the harmful psychological effect of policies restricting marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
U.S. Health and Human Services
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

Research and Reports
  • Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples
    The APA calls on state governments to repeal all measures that deny same-sex couples the right to civil marriage and to enact laws to provide full marriage equality to same-sex couples. The APA also calls on the federal government to extend full recognition to legally married same-sex couples, and to accord them all of the rights, benefits and responsibilities that it provides to legally married different-sex couples. Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on Aug. 3-5, 2011.

  • Sexual Orientation and Marriage 
    APA is committed to ending the minority stress, social stigma, prejudice, discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals through our leadership, practice, research, education and training. Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives July 28 & 30, 2004.

  • Sexual Orientation, Parents and Children 
    APA is committed to ending the discrimination based on sexual orientation against lesbian and gay parents in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care and reproductive health services through our leadership, practice, research, education and training. Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives July 28 & 30, 2004.

  • Child Custody or Placement
    The sex, gender identity or sexual orientation of natural, or prospective adoptive or foster parents should not be the sole or primary variable considered in custody or placement cases. Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on Sept. 2 & 5, 1976.

  • Transgender, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Nondiscrimination
    APA is committed to ending the prejudice and discrimination based on demographic characteristics including gender identity and expression and urges the repeal of discriminatory laws through our leadership, practice, research, education, training and collaboration with other organizations. Adopted by the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives August 2008.

American Academy of Pediatrics
APA Amicus Briefs
APA has filed a number of briefs in contested child custody cases involving lesbian or gay parents, in second parent adoption cases for same-sex couples and in cases related to marriage rights for same-sex couples.
APA cited in Michigan same-sex marriage ruling (PDF, 65KB)
Michigan District Court judge overturns voter approved Michigan Marriage Amendment on March 21, 2014.