Columbia University professor Ilan H. Meyer, an expert in mental health issues among LGBT people, told a court on Thursday that gay men and lesbians are more likely to suffer from mental disorders than heterosexuals because of anti-LGBT discrimination, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Meyer was the second witness called to the stand on Thursday in the Prop. 8 trial, a federal lawsuit challenging California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
From The Los Angeles Times article:
Proposition 8 sent "a message that gay relationships are not respected, that they are of secondary value if they are of any value at all," Meyer said. He also said the 2008 measure made the public statement that it was OK "to designate gay people as a different class of people in terms of their intimate relationships."
… Meyer said concealment of one's sexual orientation for fear of rejection was "damaging and stressful" and testified about a federal government report that said gay male adolescents were two to three times more likely than heterosexual teens to attempt suicide.
The report also said that gays and lesbians were more vulnerable than heterosexuals to mood disorders and substance abuse.
Earlier on Thursday, Edmund Egan who heads the Office of Economic Analysis in San Francisco testified that extending marriage protections to same-sex couples would boost local economies.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that Egan predicted that San Francisco could expect a $1.7 million per year increase in added sales taxes and $900,000 in hotel taxes from wedding-related spending and out-of-town visitors if marriage equality were legal.
Marriage equality would also save money in healthcare costs because "Married individuals are healthier, on average, and behave in healthier ways than single individuals," according to Egan.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press has reported that presiding Judge Vaughn Walker has abandoned his effort to broadcast the trial online via YouTube, after the Supreme Court issued a permanent stay on broadcasting the proceedings:
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker said Thursday he's withdrawing his application to have the landmark case video-recorded under a pilot program approved last month by the governing body for federal courts in the West.
The AP goes on to report that Prop. 8 supporters are calling on Judge Walker to destroy recordings of the trial that were produced in the opening days of the case. Walker has rejected that request.
GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of the Prop. 8 trial. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org