Prop 8 Trial Re-enactment, Day 3 Chapter 3

Uploaded by MarriageTrial on 24.02.2010

MS. STEWART: Okay, your Honor. I will do that. We will return to this later with Mr. Tam
or the deposition excerpts.
>> THE COURT: I would think that would be the appropriate place to take it up. All right.
Please conclude.
>> THE COURT: All right, Ms. Stewart. You have brought us to afternoon after all. All
right. Let's resume, counsel, at 1:30 -- make it 1:40. And the next witness is going
to be?
>> MR. BOUTROUS: Dr. Peplau, your Honor.
>> MS. STEWART: Dr. Peplau, your Honor.
>> THE COURT: Very well.
>> MR. COOPER: What time did you say, your Honor?
>> THE COURT: 1:40, Mr. Cooper. Is that okay?
>> MR. COOPER: It certainly is.
>> THE COURT: All right. Good. (Whereupon at 12:12 p.m. proceedings were adjourned for
noon recess.)
>> THE COURT: Very well. Shall we have the next witness?
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Yes, Your Honor. Plaintiffs call Dr. Anne Peplau.
>> THE COURT: Very well.
>> THE CLERK: Raise your right hand, please.
>> LETITIA ANNE PEPLAU, called as a witness for the Plaintiffs herein, having been first
duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
>> THE CLERK: State your name, please.
>> THE WITNESS: My name is Letitia Anne Peplau.
>> THE CLERK: And spell your last name.
>> THE WITNESS: P-e-p-l-a-u.
>> THE CLERK: And your first name.
>> THE WITNESS: Letitia, L-e-t-i-t-i-a.
>> THE CLERK: Okay. Thank you.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, for the record, my name is Christopher Dusseault, Gibson, Dunn
& Crutcher, for the plaintiffs. Very good. Mr. Dusseault.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Good afternoon, Dr. Peplau.
>> MS. PEPLAU: Good afternoon.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, what is your educational background?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I have a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brown University, and a
Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What is social psychology?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Social psychology is the sub branch within psychology that studies human
relationships, human groups, social influence, basically the relationships among people.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And where are you currently employed?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I'm a professor at the University of California Los Angeles.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: When did you join the faculty at UCLA?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I joined the faculty in 1973.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And are you tenured?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: When did you become tenured?
>> MS. PEPLAU: In 1982.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What is your position within the psychology department?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I'm a professor of psychology. And I'm also the vice chair for graduate studies
in psychology.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And what is the general reputation of UCLA's psychology graduate department?
>> MS. PEPLAU: It's a very respected department. And we are ranked in the top five nationwide.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, do you lead any programs at UCLA?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I do. I am the director of the UCLA interdisciplinary relationship science
program. It's a graduate training program funded by the National Science Foundation.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And in what does it train?
>> MS. PEPLAU: It trains doctoral students from several disciplines who want to specialize
in studying social relationships. That can include family relationships, marriage, friendship,
as well as same-sex relationships.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Have you received any professional honors for your work?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I have. I have received a number of lifetime achievement or scientific contribution
awards. One is from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. And several of them are
from different divisions of the American Psychological Association.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And have you served as president of any societies?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I was elected president of the International Association for Relationship
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: In the course of your professional work in social psychology, has your study
focused on any particular topics?
>> MS. PEPLAU: It's focused on three interrelated topics: Close personal relationships, sexual
orientation, and gender.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Have you conducted research on heterosexual couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, I have.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And also on same-sex couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And in studying relationships, have you looked at marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Uhm, I have primarily looked at relationships other than marriage, but
I have done some studies that have involved marriage, yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Do you study the relationships of lesbians and gay men?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, I do.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: When did you begin doing that?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I began studying same-sex couples in the early 1970s. At that time, there was
very little research in the area, and I was one of the first psychologists to do that
research. Today, of course, there are many more people studying same-sex relationships,
and the field has grown substantially.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Have you authored any books?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I've written or coauthored about ten books.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: On what subjects?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Some have been general topics in psychology, introductory psychology, social
psychology. Others have been professional-level books. One is on close relationships, another
on loneliness. I edited a book on gender, culture, and ethnicity. I've edited a volume
on same-sex couples, and another volume on women's sexuality.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Have you written articles?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I've written, oh, probably, 120 journal articles and chapters for scholarly
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Are your articles generally published in peer-reviewed journals?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I believe all of them have been published in peer-reviewed scientific
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And have you done reviews of other scholars' work?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I've written what I would call literature reviews. That is, chapters
for edited books in which I have reviewed the current state of research and theory on
a particular topic.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, I would -- actually, if I may direct the witness to Plaintiffs'
Exhibit 2329. Just to be clear, the way we have the witness binder organized, Your Honor,
is, certain exhibits that will be introduced individually are in the front. Then there's
an A, B and C tab at the bottom, for certain exhibits that will be introduced collectively.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: So if we could look at 2329, Dr. Peplau --
>> MS. PEPLAU: I'm not finding that in this binder.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, may I approach?
>> THE COURT: Perhaps you can guide us both through. I'm having the same problem the witness
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Are you?
>> THE WITNESS: Actually, I think I just found it. And it's just prior to tab A.
>> THE COURT: I see. I see. All right. Numerical order is a wonderful thing, Counsel. (Laughter)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Understood, Your Honor.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, is that a true and correct copy of your CV?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, I would submit Exhibit 2329 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: Very well. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 2329 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, Your Honor, we would tender Professor Peplau as an expert on couple
relationships within the field of social psychology.
>> THE COURT: Any voir dire?
>> MS. MOSS: No, Your Honor. No objection.
>> THE COURT: Very well. You may proceed, Mr. Dusseault.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, do you intend to offer opinions today in this case?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I will be offering four opinions.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What are those?
>> MS. PEPLAU: My first opinion is that for those adults who choose to enter into marriage,
that marriage is often associated with many important benefits. I will also offer the
opinion that research examining the relationships of gay and lesbian couples has found remarkable
similarities between the research of same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. I will offer
the opinion that when same-sex couples are permitted to enter into civil marriage, that
they will likely have the same benefits from marriage that heterosexuals do. And, fourth,
I'll offer the opinion that permitting same-sex civil marriage will not be harmful to heterosexual
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you. Dr. Peplau, let's start with the first opinion that you mentioned.
Have there been research and studies into how Americans feel about marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Americans are very enthusiastic about marriage. Most Americans view marriage
as one of the most important relationships in their life. Many people view getting married
as a very important life goal. And when researchers have surveyed Americans and asked their opinions
about marriage, they find a similar pattern. For example, a recent Gallup opinion poll
asked a representative sample of Americans about marriage. And 91 percent of those people
reported that they either have been married or plan to get married at some time in the
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Is there any evidence, of which you are aware, that lesbians and gay
men feel the same way about marriage as heterosexuals?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. Of course, for, in most states, asking lesbians and gay men about
marriage is a hypothetical question, but that question has been asked. In a recent survey
conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation the question asked was: "If you were able
to legally marry someone of the same sex, would you like to do so at some time in your
life?" And the majority of lesbians and gay men,
74 percent, said that, yes, indeed, they would like to get married if they had that option.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And turn, if you would, in your binder, to Plaintiff's Exhibit 938.
And this is in the first section before the tab
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, I have it.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, Dr. Peplau, is this the study you were just referring to?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And this is something you have relied on in reaching your opinions?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. This is the Kaiser Family Foundation study of lesbians and gay men.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, we would submit Plaintiffs' Exhibit 938 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: Very well. 938 is admitted. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 938 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, are you aware of any research on the subject of whether
people in this country value domestic partnerships to the same extent as they value marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Researchers have been interested in whether lesbians and gay men would prefer
to get married or would prefer other options such as civil unions or registered partnerships.
Evidence on this point comes from research done by Gary Gates, Lee Badgett, and others.
And what these researchers did was to ask the question -- we now have several states
that have options for civil unions or registered partnerships. And they asked the question,
across all of those states that permit that: In the first year, what percent of same-sex
cohabiting couples in the state actually took advantage of that option? And then they asked,
in Massachusetts, where marriage is the option: In the first year that marriage was available
to same-sex couples, what percent got married? And what they found was that, whereas, across
the states that permit civil unions and partnerships, about 10 to 12 percent of couples in the first
year took that option. In contrast, in Massachusetts, when marriage became available, something
like 37 percent of the couples got married. Suggesting that couples were three times more
likely to get married than to enter into one of these other quasi-marital options.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, if you could turn to tab 909, which is in the front section,
before tab A of your binder. And this the Gates Badgett and Ho study that you referred
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, plaintiffs would move Exhibit 909 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: Very well, 909 is admitted. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 909 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Are you aware of research regarding the impact of marriage, if any,
on health?
>> MS. PEPLAU: There is a very large body of research on the impact for heterosexuals
of marriage on health. These are studies that have compared the health of married individuals
to the health of other adults who are not married. And the very consistent findings
from those research are that, on average, married individuals fare better. They are
physically healthier. They tend to live longer. They engage in fewer risky behaviors. They
look better on measures of psychological well-being.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, are you aware of any recent studies, of particular note, that document
the health benefits associated with marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. One of the recent studies on that is a government study conducted by
researchers at the Centers for Disease Control. And what they did was to interview a representative
sample of Americans, a very large sample, more than a hundred-thousand people, and to
do these comparisons between married individuals and other individuals on a range of questions
about health. And what they found was that if you control for age and for income and
education, for few things like that, for race, that across all of these groups, the married
individuals did better on virtually every measure. So the married couples reported fewer
health problems. They were less likely to indicate that their daily activities at home
or at work were restricted because of a physical ailment of some sort. They were less likely
to smoke. They were less likely to drink in excess. They were less likely to report headaches
and migraines. We could go on, but the consistent pattern was that, on average, the married
couples were better in terms of health.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And does the research tell us anything about why marriage is associated
with health benefits?
>> MS. PEPLAU: That's certainly been an important question for researchers. And there are two
main explanations that have been considered. One is what's been called a selection effect.
And the idea here is that, perhaps, people who are healthier to start out with are more
likely to be able to attract a partner, to get married. And maybe because of their health
and -- mental health, as well, they are better able to maintain a satisfying relationship.
That would be a selection effect. The second hypothesis or second explanation is what's
been called a protection effect. And that's the idea that there are things associated
with marriage that actually enhance and contribute to health; things that people didn't bring
into the relationship, that they experience as a result of being married. And research
pretty clearly demonstrates that the selection effect is only a partial answer; that there
does definitely appear to be a protective effect for many couples, for individuals in
many couples, of being married.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Can you explain to us why marriage might be associated with what you
describe as protective effects?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I think there would be at least four reasons for that. One is that,
for many people, getting married reflects a change in identity. That when psychologists
sometimes ask people to describe who are you, if you ask me, I might say, I'm a wife. I'm
a psychologist. I'm an American. And I would be indicating important identities that I
valued and that were part of who I am as a person. And for many people, marriage is one
of these identities. So it is -- I said earlier, it's an important life goal. Achieving that
life goal can lead people to feel good about themselves, can enhance their self-esteem.
Marriage is a valued status in society. So being part of that institution can make you
feel good about yourself. As well, part of being married may mean: Now I'm an adult.
Now I really need to be a kind of mature, responsible person. And maybe that would lead
us to take better care of ourselves. Or maybe we'll feel more responsible for our spouse
and say, Well, you know, I'm not just in it for me. I'm in it for my partner, as well.
So perhaps I ought to give up rock climbing and be more careful about how much I drink.
So these would be ways in which marriage, the status of being married, might affect
the individual. A second thing is that marriage is about a relationship between two people.
And there are often important ways in which spouses support each her, help each other,
try to encourage each other to lead healthy lifestyles. And so this kind of support from
another person can enhance your health. So we talked about the individual and then the
couple. There's also a broader social network, that when people get married, they develop
relationships not only with their partner, but also within an extended family, with kin,
that marriage links two families. So that if prior to marriage each person had relatives
who cared about them, and friends, now they may have two networks and two groups of people
who are there as resources to them, who can help them through tough times. And so this
connection to an extended community and family network can be helpful to people's health.
And, finally, marriage can also lead to various kinds of supports from government, to beneficial
laws or being eligible for programs or for health insurance through an employer, or a
slew of things that can also contribute to health and well-being. Now, of course, this
doesn't happen automatically in every marriage. These are things that happen in good marriages.
Some marriages are conflict-ridden and miserable, and don't confer those benefits. But, on average,
marriage does seem to be associated with benefits. And I think for many good reasons.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, Dr. Peplau, if you could turn to your exhibit binder, and now
turning to tab
>> MS. PEPLAU: There is a series of exhibits here that I've grouped together. And I'll
read the numbers into the record. They are Plaintiff's Exhibit 781, 913, 937, 964, 1043,
1171, 1173, 1250, 1254, and 1474. Do you see those?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I do. I don't think they are all in the order you read them in.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Are we behind tab A?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I thought so, yeah. As I look through them, these are all articles that
are relevant to the issue of the benefits of marriage.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And are these articles that you've relied on in forming your opinions
that you've testified to today, about the benefits of marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, they are.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, I would move those exhibits into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: If I could have just one minute to flip through the binder.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Certainly.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection, Your Honor.
>> THE COURT: Very well. I won't read the entire list, but those exhibits are admitted.
(Plaintiffs' Exhibits 781, 913, 937, 964, 1043, 1171, 1173, 1250, 1254, 1474 received
in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you, Your Honor.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, Dr. Peplau, let's talk about the second opinion that you mentioned
when you were beginning your testimony regarding similarity between opposite-sex and same-sex
relationships. Has social science research been done that compares same-sex relationships
and heterosexual relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, there have been quite a number of studies that include samples of
both same-sex and heterosexual couples, and that compare them in a variety of systematic
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And has that body of work been well-received in your field?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it has. It's been published in peer-reviewed journals. It's been presented
at major scientific meetings, and so on.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What are the primary topics of study in this body of work?
>> MS. PEPLAU: One major topic has been to examine the quality of same-sex relationships,
and to ask how similar or different it is to the quality of heterosexual relationships.
A second major topic has been to look at the stability of relationships, their durability
over time. And then a third major topic has to look at the processes or the dynamics that
affect relationships, to ask questions about whether the quality and the stability of same-sex
couples' relationships are influenced by the same kinds of factors that apply in heterosexual
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And I'd like to ask you about each of those individually, but, first,
let me ask you, does this research as a whole show whether there is or is not a similarity,
generally, between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: One of the striking things about this research is the consistency of
findings across different studies conducted by different researchers, using somewhat different
methodologies. And the consistent finding is one of great similarity across couples,
both same-sex and heterosexual.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, the first topic that you mentioned was the quality of relationships.
Has research been done examining and comparing the overall quality of same-sex and opposite-sex
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. And let me just say, for a moment, what I mean by "quality." Because
researchers have tried to study quality, or to measure it in a variety of different ways.
Researchers have developed standardized measures of relationship adjustment. We have developed
standardized measures of love, of commitment, feelings of closeness in relationship. These
are multiple items, standardized measures. In addition, researchers have also conducted
observational studies, in which they bring couples into the laboratory and ask them to
talk with each other about an assigned topic while they are being videotaped. And then
the researchers systematically code those interactions, and they ask questions like:
How much warmth does the couple express for each other? Do they express sarcasm? What's
the quality of their interaction? So I want to emphasize that a lot of different methods
have been used to assess quality. And regardless of how it's measured, the consistent finding,
time and again, has been that, on average, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples
are indistinguishable. That does not mean that all couples are enormously happy. It
means there are some happy couples, some okay couples, and some not-so-happy couples in
all groups. But, on average, the level of quality is the same.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, have you ever heard a view or stereotype expressed that
same-sex couples are somehow generally unhappy or dissatisfied?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I think a common stereotype has been -- there's been several pieces to
it. One, that gay men and lesbians have trouble forming relationships. That if they do form
relationships, they are kind of unstable; they don't last very long. And that maybe
the quality of those relationships is inferior to the quality of heterosexual relationships.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And is there any support in your field, that you have seen, for that
stereotype of the relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: None at all.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: You also mentioned the stability of relationships. Has research been done comparing
the stability of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it has.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What has that shown?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Uhm, the stability of a relationship refers to how long the relationship lasts
over time. For married couples, we have government statistics that tell us when couples marry
and when they divorce, or when the relationship is dissolved in various ways. So we have pretty
good national data sets about heterosexual marriages and their length. We do not have
comparable data for same-sex couples. Nonetheless, researchers have been able to rely on large-scale
surveys, some of them now representative surveys, that address this question, and that have
really provided evidence that a substantial proportion of lesbians and gay men are in
>> relationships, that many of those relationships are long-term.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Are there any examples of studies that have shown that lesbians and
gay men are, in fact, able to form committed, long-lasting relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I think one of the best studies is a study by Carpenter and Gates, that was
published in Demography, the leading journal for demographers. What these researchers did was to analyze
data from a survey conducted in California, of a representative sample of lesbians and
gay men in the state. And one of the questions that was asked on that survey was: Are you
currently in a cohabiting relationship with a same-sex partner? And what the researchers
found was that 61 percent of the lesbian respondents said, yes, they were living with another woman
in a loving relationship. And about 46 percent of the gay men said that they were currently
in a cohabiting relationship. And just for comparison, the researchers mention that if
you looked in the same age range of 18 to 59, at heterosexuals, you would find that
about 62 percent of heterosexuals were either married or cohabiting. So the percent for
heterosexuals and for lesbians was essentially the same. And for gay men it wasn't terribly
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And did that study also look at whether gay men and lesbians are typically
able to form long-lasting relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. Another question that was asked was: How long has your current cohabiting
relationship been going on? And what the researchers found was that, on average, these relationships
had lasted about 8 to 10 years. Now, to put that in context, the average person who was
part of this survey was about 41 years old. So if you think they are 41 now, their relationship's
been going on, say, for ten years, they were 31 when the relationship began. I think that
indicates that these are people who, early in adulthood, found a partner, established
a relationship, and for the bulk of the -- the -- their young adulthood, that they were
with the same partner. So I think the survey provides compelling evidence both that many
lesbians and gay men are in a relationship, and that at least some of those relationships
are of quite long duration.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, to your knowledge, are there any professional organizations that
have weighed in on the subject of whether lesbians and gay men can and do form committed
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. My own organization, the American Psychological Association, the largest
association in the world of professional psychologists, has recently adopted a position paper, a resolution
on that topic.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And turn, if you would, Dr. Peplau, to Exhibit 765, in your binder,
which is the second exhibit from the front. Is this the document to which you are referring?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is. It's the APA policy statement on sexual orientation and marriage.
And it was adopted by the APA Council of Representatives in July 2004.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, we would offer Plaintiff's Exhibit 765 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: 765 is admitted. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 765 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: If we could put the first demonstrative on the screen here. (Document
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, is this one of the findings from the study that you're
referencing, that many lesbians and gay men have formed durable relationships?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And could we turn to the second slide, please. (Document displayed.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And is it also one of the findings, Dr. Peplau, that the factors that
predict relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and relationship stability are
remarkably similar for both same-sex cohabiting couples and heterosexual married couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, is there some evidence that, on average, cohabiting gay and lesbian
relationships are of slightly shorter duration?
>> MS. PEPLAU: As I mentioned before, we don't have directly-comparable information. But
there is some suggestion that that might be the case.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Okay. And do you have any explanation for that?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Well, I think there are several possible explanations. One is that, because
the data aren't directly comparable, married couples may be a more -- may be a group that's
more selected for high levels of commitment and intentions to stay together for a long
time. Cohabiting couples, in contrast, may be a more diverse group of people; some of
whom feel great levels of commitment, and others of whom don't. So it's a comparison
that may, to some extent, be mixing apples and oranges. But I think there are several
other reasons, as well. One is that gay men and lesbians don't have the benefits of marriage,
and that marriage is for many relationships a stabilizing influence. And we've talked
about and will talk more about why that may be the case. Another reason may be that sexual
orientation, being gay or lesbian, is still a stigmatized identity in the United States.
And so there may be ways in which stigma and prejudice and discrimination take a toll on
the relationships of lesbians and gay men.
>> THE COURT: Let me see if I understand the testimony. Are you saying that there is a
difference in durability of relationships among cohabiting heterosexuals from married
>> THE WITNESS: That's true. But the comparison I meant to be giving was between same-sex
cohabiting or not cohabiting couples and married heterosexuals. I was really trying to do a
comparison between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. And what I was saying was that we
have a very clear idea of who those heterosexual couples are because they are typically married
couples; but that the same-sex couples can be a more mixed group.
>> THE COURT: What do the data show with respect to differences, if any, between married couples,
presumably heterosexual couples, and cohabitating heterosexual couples; is there a difference
in the durability of those two relationships?
>> THE WITNESS: Yes, there is. On average -- and, again, we are talking about gross
averages. But, on average, heterosexual cohabiting relationships are of shorter duration than
heterosexual marriages.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, you referenced earlier the issue of processes in relationships.
Has research been done into whether the same processes are at work in the relationships
of same-sex couples, on one hand and opposite-sex couples on the other?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it has. Let me just give one example of what I mean by a process. One
of the things researchers have studied is, what factors determine the quality or the
level of satisfaction in a relationship? And, obviously, an important factor would be arguments
or conflict between the partners. And so researchers have examined the extent to which same-sex
and heterosexual couples have the same frequency of arguing. Which they do. The extent to which
they may be arguing about similar sorts of things. And the answer is yes. The extent
to which they may try to work out their disagreements, to negotiate in similar ways. And the answer
is they do. And, then, the process question is: Is the relationship between high levels
of conflict and low satisfaction the same for both types of couples? And the answer
there is that, yes, it is; that level of conflict influences the quality of both kinds of relationships.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, now, looking at the three factors that you mentioned, together,
quality, stability, and the sameness of processes that affect those factors, is there a consensus
in the research as to whether these factors are similar between same-sex and opposite-sex
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. The overwhelming finding and the consensus of professionals in the
field is of similarity across these two types of couples.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What I'd like to do now is just move into the record a group of documents
that are behind tab B, that support Dr. Peplau's opinion about the similarities between opposite-sex
and same-sex relationships. These are the documents found at tab B. And, for the record
they are Plaintiffs' Exhibits 921, 942, 1050, 1054, 1130, 1137, 1142, 1144, 1150, 1166,
1231 --
>> THE COURT: 1156?
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: 1166, Your Honor.
>> THE COURT: 66.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: 1231, 1234, 1236, and 1245. Your Honor, plaintiffs would submit those
documents into evidence.
>> THE COURT: Hearing no objection.
>> MS. MOSS: Your Honor, if I could just have, again, a moment to look at the tab.
>> THE COURT: Of course.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection, Your Honor.
>> THE COURT: Very well. Thank you, Ms. Moss. Proceed, Counsel. (Plaintiffs' Exhibits 921,
942, 1050, 1054, 1130, 1137, 1142, 1144, 1150, 1166, 1231, 1234, 1236, 1245, received in
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you, Your Honor.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, let's talk about the third opinion that you mentioned at the
beginning of your testimony. Do you have an opinion as to whether gay and lesbian individuals
would benefit from marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, I do.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: What is that opinion?
>> MS. PEPLAU: My opinion, based on the great similarities that have been documented between
same-sex couples and heterosexual couples, is this if same-sex couples were permitted
to marry, that they also would enjoy the same benefits.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, to your knowledge, have any professional organizations come to
the same conclusion?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. The American Psychiatric Association, which is the national organization
of physician psychiatrists, medical experts who study mental health and illness, have
issued a policy statement on that.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: If I could, Dr. Peplau, direct your attention to Plaintiffs' Exhibit
787, which is the third exhibit from the front of your binder. Is this the policy statement
of the American Psychiatric Association that you referenced just a moment ago?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is. And I would just note that it was approved by their assembly
and also approved by the board of trustees. So it went through a vetting process in the
professional organization. And that happened in 2005.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, plaintiffs would submit Exhibit 787 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: 787 is admitted. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 787 received in evidence.) (Document
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, Dr. Peplau, we've highlighted a statement from this policy statement of
the American Psychiatric Association. Could you please read the highlighted portion?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Sure. It says: "In the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health,
the American Psychiatric Association supports the legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage
with all rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes restrictions
to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities."
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, Dr. Peplau, have there been any empirical studies on the effects
of marriage on American gay and lesbian individuals who choose to marry and are able to?
>> MS. PEPLAU: My -- let me just step back and say that my strong belief that same-sex
couples would benefit from civil marriage is based, primarily, on the large body of
research about heterosexuals benefiting from marriage, and the body of research about similarities
and differences. Based on that, I would predict that in states in the United States that permit
same-sex marriage, that we would not see any change either in the rate of people getting
married or in the rate of people getting divorced. And in order to look at that prediction, I
went to the government website that provides statistics, federal statistics on the annual
rates for marriage and for divorce in Massachusetts. And I looked at the four years prior to same-sex
marriage being legal and the four years after. And in what I was looking at there was, has
there been a change in the rates of marriage or of divorce associated with the introduction
of civil same-sex marriage? And what's very clear from those data is that there has been
no change; that the rates of marriage and divorce are no different after civil marriage
was permitted than they were before.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, if I could direct your attention to Exhibit 959, in the front
section of your binder.
>> MS. PEPLAU: Nine. I'm having trouble finding it.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: I believe -- believe it's the ninth tab from the front.
>> MS. PEPLAU: 959?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I apologize, but I'm not finding it.
>> THE COURT: 959?
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Do you have --
>> THE COURT: I have it.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: You do? Your Honor, may I approach the witness and show her mine?
>> THE COURT: By all means. By all means.
>> THE WITNESS: Oh, okay.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, is Exhibit 959 the study that you're referring to, that you
looked at about results, where couples have been permitted to marry, same-sex couples
have been permitted to marry?
>> MS. PEPLAU: What I was referring to before were government statistics about rates of
marriage and divorce. One of the other things that I would predict would be that if we surveyed
individuals who have gotten married in civil same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, that
they would report benefiting from that. And there is one study that addresses that issue.
This is a study by Ramos and others. They used data that was collected by the Massachusetts
Department of Health. The Department of Health was very interested in trying to understand
what some of the impact might have been of marriage for same-sex couples in their state.
And so, I believe, four years after marriage was permitted, they conducted a survey. It
was not a representative sample, but it was a sample that included over 500 lesbians and
gay men who had been married in Massachusetts. And the survey asked those individuals questions
about why they had gotten married; whether they thought that marriage had improved their
lives in a variety of ways. And for those individuals who were raising children, they
also asked people's beliefs about how the marriage had affected the children.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And what did that study show as to the effects of access to marriage
on same-sex couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: One of the things the researchers found, I think, is not at all surprising.
And that is that after they got married, many of the couples said they felt more committed
to each other. I think heterosexual newlyweds might well say the same thing. But there were
other things that the couples said that I think are particularly noteworthy. Many of
the married lesbians and gay men said that they -- they believed that their families
were now more approving of their relationship. Many of the them said that they felt less
worried about legal problems. And a third of them said that either they or their spouse
now had access to health benefits from an employer, that they had not had before getting
married. And so they were reporting a number of benefits. And for those couples who had
children -- and, as I think I mentioned, that was about 25 percent of the respondents in
this survey -- they overwhelmingly reported that marriage had been beneficial to the children.
95 percent of them said that they thought the children had benefited from the fact that
they were now married.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, plaintiffs would move into evidence Exhibit 959.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: 959 is admitted. (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 959 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, was it your conclusion that this study of Massachusetts
supported the opinions that you drew through your other research as to potential benefits
to marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: For same-sex couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: So, then, let's turn from the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples,
to the fourth opinion that you said you wish to offer today, which is the question of whether
allowing same-sex marriages would harm heterosexual marriages. Do you, Dr. Peplau, have an opinion
as to whether allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would in any way affect the stability
of heterosexual marriages?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I do have an opinion. And it is that I think it would have no impact on
the stability of heterosexual marriages.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Why is that?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Uhm, well, we might say that by "stability" we really mean two things.
One would be, is it going to affect entry into marriage? So, are fewer heterosexuals
going to decide to marry because same-sex couples can marry? And then the other would
be exit from marriage. Are we going to see an increase in divorce?
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: So let's start with entry.
>> MS. PEPLAU: Okay.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Based on your work in this field, in the study of relationships, do you
see any basis for an argument that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead fewer
heterosexual couples to enter into marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: No, I don't. I think we have a large literature that tells us some of the
many reasons why people get married. Many of them have to do with the fact that they
are in love with someone; that they want to establish a life together; that they have
been planning to get married since they were young children, and this has been a life goal.
These are things about their relationship. They are things about a special other person.
And there is nothing, that I am aware of, in the way of data or theory, that would suggest
that same-sex civil marriage will lead fewer heterosexuals to marriage.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: So let's turn to the second part of the equation, as you described it.
Is there any basis, in your years of study, for the concept that allowing same-sex couples
to marry would lead more married heterosexual couples to exit or divorce from their marriages?
>> MS. PEPLAU: I can think of no reason. That is, it is very hard for me to imagine that
you would have a happily-married couple who would say, "Gertrude, we've been married for
30 years, but I think we have to throw in the towel because Adam and Stuart down the
block got married." (Laughter) We know a lot about factors that lead relationships to fall
apart. The immediate cause is, usually, that the couples are having conflict; they are
arguing; the relationship has gone sour. If they are not arguing, it feels empty. They
feel that their needs are not being met in the relationship. They are very personal reasons
for getting divorced. We also know that some of the people who are at greater risk of divorce,
people with low levels of education, people who are poor, whose relationships are under
great stress and may not have the resources to meet those stress, nothing that we know
about all of these kinds of factors that lead to divorce has anything to do with civil rights
for same-sex couples.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, there's obviously been some argument and evidence around this issue
about exposure to marriage. Do you have an understanding of what percentage or even roughly
what proportion of married couples in America would be same-sex couples, if same-sex couples
were permitted to marry?
>> MS. PEPLAU: My estimate would be that if same-sex couples were permitted to marry,
that perhaps 2 percent of couples, 1 to 2 to 3 percent, some very small percentage,
would be same-sex couples.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And to be clear on what you mean, 1 to 3 percent of all married couples?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Of all married couples. Absolutely.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Would be --
>> MS. PEPLAU: Thank you.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, also, do you have -- let me make sure I understand. If same-sex
couples are permitted to marry then, presumably, there would be more married couples in the
country or in California than otherwise, correct?
>> MS. PEPLAU: That's correct.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, do you have a view as to whether that would have any impact,
one way or another, on marriage?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Well, you know, usually we see it as a sign of the health of an institution
like marriage -- or, really, of any institution -- if more people want to join. One of the
things that has worried some people about heterosexual marriage is that fewer people
are getting married, and more of them are getting divorced. So the idea that there's
a group of American citizens who want to enter this institution, to keep it going, to keep
it vibrant and alive, from my perspective, seems like a very good omen for the future
of America.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, have any professional organizations commented on whether keeping
marriage as exclusively a man-woman union is essential to avoiding some sort of harm
to our society?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes. I think -- you know, the group that's best -- the professional group
that's best able to comment on that are anthropologists, professionals trained to study varying patterns
across time and place in culture. And there's a large group of anthropologists who study
kinship, family, and so on. And the professional organization of anthropologists, the American
Anthropological Association, has taken a position on this issue.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Turn, if you would, Dr. Peplau, to the very first exhibit in your
binder, which I'm hoping is 754.
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Is this the statement of the American Anthropological Association that
you just referenced?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, it is.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Your Honor, plaintiffs would submit Exhibit 754 into evidence.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> THE COURT: Very well. (Plaintiffs Exhibit 754 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And as we did with some of the earlier statements, we have culled
out some of the language. Can you read that into the record.
>> MS. PEPLAU: Sure. "The results of more than a century of anthropological research
on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time,
provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social
orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological
research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families
built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies."
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Now, Dr. Peplau, I may have gotten you into this issue earlier, accidently.
Is there empirical evidence in the United States, that you're aware of, on the issue
of whether same-sex marriages have any adverse impact on the lasting stability of heterosexual
>> MS. PEPLAU: I think it -- I think we talked a bit earlier about data from Massachusetts,
about whether permitting -- whether the change permitting same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts
had led either to an increase in the divorce rate or a decrease in the rate of people getting
married. And I would see those data, showing no difference before and after same-sex marriage,
as very consistent with the argument that we would not expect harm.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, Your Honor, plaintiffs would move into evidence the exhibits that
are found at tab C of the binder, which is Plaintiffs' Exhibits 1145, 1151 and 1195.
>> THE COURT: What was the second one you mentioned?
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: 1145, 1151.
>> THE COURT: Thank you.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And 1195.
>> MS. MOSS: No objection.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: And, Dr. Peplau, are those --
>> THE COURT: Very well. Those exhibits will be admitted. Proceed. (Plaintiffs' Exhibits
1145, 1151, 1195 received in evidence.)
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Dr. Peplau, are those documents materials that you have relied on in reaching
your view, the fourth opinion you offered, that allowing same-sex marriages would not
harm heterosexual marriages?
>> MS. PEPLAU: Yes, they are.
>> MR. DUSSEAULT: Thank you very much. I have nothing further.
>> THE COURT: Very well. Ms. Moss, you may cross-examine.
>> MS. MOSS: May I approach, Your Honor?
>> THE COURT: You may.