Know what’s bad for the mental health of gay parents of adoptive kids? Living in states that explicitly prohibit them from being adoptive parents. In a bit of “no duh” research, a new study shows that anti-gay legislation isn’t just unfair. It’s unhealthy.
Gay and lesbian adoptive parents living in states with unfavorable laws regarding adoption by gay people showed greater increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety (as measured by standard clinical scales) during the period of study than did individuals living in states with more favorable legal climates. The effect was most pronounced among those with high levels of internalized homophobia—which was assessed by a questionnaire asking participants how strongly they agreed with statements such as, “If someone offered me the chance to be completely heterosexual, I would accept the chance.” In comparison, individuals with high levels of internalized homophobia, but who lived in states with favorable legal climates, experienced decreases in symptoms of depression during the period of study.
Of course this type of research will only be met — by the Tony Perkins of the world — with some convoluted theory about how being gay, and not discriminatory environments, are what make homos people depressed.