Speaking at today’s Senate marriage equality inquiry hearing in Melbourne, representatives of the Australian Psychological Society said there is a direct link between allowing same-sex couples to marry and better mental health outcomes for same-sex attracted people.
Dr Fiona Barlow from the University of Queensland said, "Research from the US has shown that the mental health of same-sex attracted people in states where same-sex marriage is not allowed is worse than in states where it is allowed."
"Research from Australia likewise shows that same-sex attracted people who are chronically exposed to opposition to same-sex marriage report higher levels of self-hatred, loneliness and feelings of inferiority."
"On top of this, we know that people in good marriages are healthier and happier."
Dr Barlow also cited evidence that children raised by same-sex couples are just as well adjusted as their peers.
"The psychological evidence convincingly demonstrates that direct harm is done to same-sex attracted Australians by denying them the opportunity to marry, and there are no adverse societal effects from marriage equality", she said.
The Australian Psychological Society announced its support for marriage equality late last year following a similar statement by the American Psychological Association.
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has completed it hearings into Greens legislation allowing same-sex marriages.
It is expected to report in several weeks.
For more information contact Dr Fiona Barlow 0434 946 611 or 07 3365 6421.