IntraSpectrum Counseling applauds President Barack Obama’s public statement in support of full marriage equality for all American citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. His symbolic statement will likely embolden other allies of the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersexed) community to verbalize their support in advancing our civil rights in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Section One, which reads:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This section underscores the fundamental American principle of “equal protection under the law.” In addition to the legal precedent for civil equality, IntraSpectrum Counseling must note the salubrious affects full legal equality would have on the nation’s collective psyche. For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) has spoken out against anti-gay initiatives, and the organization has continually backed legislation that works toward legalizing same-sex marriage because research and scientific data support that second-class citizenship may contribute to adverse mental health affects that stem from being members of oppressed groups. Moreover, full equality would also benefit the oppressors. As Booker T. Washington eloquently said, “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” However, even as we stride toward a time of equality, we must acknowledge the wounds of pervasive societal bias.
With over 50 years of collective experience in working with members of the LGBTQI community in the mental health field, IntraSpectrum Counselors are highly experienced in understanding how systematic discrimination may adversely affect a client’s mental health in a myriad of ways. For this reason, IntraSpectrum Counseling offers a range of therapeutic services for Chicago’s LGBTQI community including but not limited to individual gay and lesbian counseling, gender identity counseling, same-sex couples counseling, and group counseling specifically tailored to the unique needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersexed clients. Finally, being situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, IntraSpectrum’s staff members maintain a positive LGBTQI presence as they actively work to keep themselves informed of evolving LGBTQI legislation at the city, state, and national levels. In this way, they continue to be well equipped to meet the diverse, changing needs of this population. As they congratulate the President for his statement in support of full marriage equality and view it as a much needed step toward equality for LGBTQI citizens.