Scientists Have Unwittingly Revealed that the Obergefell Decision Did Nothing to Diminish Sexual Minority Distress

Jun 20, 2018 by

by Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse:

A new study is being used to make the claim that allowing conscientious objection to same-sex marriage leads to increased rates of mental health problems in sexual minorities. But is that really what the data show?

In a study first appearing online in JAMA Psychiatry on May 23, five public health scholars report that “state laws permitting denial of services to same-sex couples” are associated with mental distress in sexual minority adults who live in those states in a way not visible in surrounding states. The study received a significant media boost in the days immediately following the June 4 decision of the Supreme Court in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker whose Christian convictions shaped his decision to avoid creating and selling wedding cakes celebrating same-sex nuptials.  

The implication of the JAMA study is that the Court has just opened the way for “anti-gay” conscience rights that—according to the study’s authors—have the documented potential to erode the mental health of sexual minorities. It certainly is an intriguing claim and possibility, and the study deserves a closer look.  

When we give it that closer look, however, it becomes obvious why the study’s title begins with the word “association,” that is, connection or relationship—because it is far from clear whether it is a valid, reliable link. While the title makes that clear the authors are not equating correlation with causation, the media narrative suggests otherwise. (That’s how this partnership has long worked.) 

What the Study Says 

Read here


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