Minister Deb's Thesis "A study of perceptions among gay and lesbian individuals who have participated in commitment ceremonies and those who have not".
by Gordon, Deborah A., Ed.D., UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE, 2010, 143 pages; 3415668Abstract:
Purpose. Throughout history, marriage has been defined as a covenant that represents a commitment between two individuals. Marriage is considered the ultimate rite of passage, marking the transition into adulthood. Gays and lesbians often don't receive such validation of their relationships. The wedding is a rite of passage in American culture. From the engagement, to the shower and the bachelor party to the culmination of the wedding it is a time in which couples are able to express their love for one another in front of their communities and families.
The primary purpose of this study is twofold. It is to ask gay and lesbian individuals who have participated in a commitment ceremony and those who have not engaged in a commitment ceremony to rate the following: (1) the degree of happiness provided by their relationship; (2) the level of sexual satisfaction provided by their relationship; (3) the amount of social support with which they are provided. Second it asks those same individuals to rate the degree to which they feel the following five stressors impact them: the degree of stress related to the family's reaction to the individual being gay or lesbian; the degree of stress related to the family's reaction to the individual's same-sex partner; the degree of stress related to violence and harassment encountered because of sexual orientation; the degree of stress related to discrimination at work due to sexual orientation; the degree of stress related to threat of HIV/AIDS due to sexual orientation.
Methodology. The researcher sent out prequestionnaire forms to 1,954 individuals who were registered as domestic partners in the city of San Diego. Two-hundred and ninety-eight individuals responded.
Findings. The findings were as follows: (1) Individuals who participated in a ceremony were slightly happier with their relationship then those who did not participate in a ceremony. (2) Individuals who participated in a ceremony were slightly more satisfied with the social support they receive for their relationship than those who did not participate in a ceremony.
About the author
Deborah "Minister Deb" Gordon, Ed.D. is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a Master's degree in Theological Studies. She has performed over 250 ceremonies as an ordained minister.