Dr Martin Milton, winner of the British Psychological Society Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity in 2012, has welcomed the news that same sex marriage will become law in England and Wales.
Dr Milton is Director of Counselling Psychology Programmes at Regent's University London and an active promoter for LGBT equality. Martin is also in private practice where many of his clients are LGBT and has a vast track record of speaking out, teaching and publishing on LGBT issues.
Dr Milton said: "The fact that the Act is now on the statute books in England and Wales is a great stride forward in Britain's move towards equality of opportunity in all areas of life. There may still be much to do but this Act means that some powerful discriminatory structures have been broken and this creates opportunities for same sex couples and of course for wider society too.
"Psychologists studying the experiences of a range of minority groups (women, LGBT, ethnic minorities etc) have demonstrated that discrimination is both morally wrong and psychologically damaging. The recipients of discrimination experience stress, distress and psychological trauma. Society suffers too with a restricted view of people, heightened aggression and abuse, suspicion and unnecessary limitations on what good social relationships can bring.
"This Act removes one of the lynchpins of institutionalised homophobia and heterosexism; it also provides a social and psychological boost simply by formally recognising people's love, affection and commitment to each other. Good relationships are always of psychological benefit, but the public recognition of them adds to these benefits enormously and now the LGBT community can have equal access to this support.
"I am confident that Parliament has, in one fell swoop, lifted a whole layer of despair that LGBT people face and replaced it with the chance to flourish in recognised relationships. Simply by no longer being 'excluded' the LGBT community and the wider society have a chance to recognise the worth that we all know exists in people no matter what their sexuality is."