Vermont's leading mental health and human service organizations joined in support of gay marriage Monday.
The Vermont Psychological Association, the Vermont Psychiatric Association, the Vermont Association of Mental Health Counselors, and the Vermont chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, all say legalizing gay marriage would help the children of same-sex couples. The group says allowing gay couples to marry validates their relationships, could reduce discrimination and increases benefits for the families.
Opponents have argued that gay marriage is detrimental to children. But mental health experts say studies show that's not true and that opponents are instead misrepresenting studies about divorced parents.
"We felt it was important for us to set the record straight about the scholarly literature in our field and we have lots of different families and the best thing to do for all children is to support parents the best way we can," said Jackie Weinstock, of UVM Human Development & Families Studies.
"It hurts children in the relationships to be part of this new thing," said Craig Benson, who opposes gay marriage. "And yet we are told it's no big deal and it won't make a difference."
The mental health and human service organizations will testify in support of gay marriage next week at the Statehouse.
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