Same Sex Marriage Will Improve Health of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People


The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015, that same-sex couples can marry nationwide and states cannot ban such marriages. Health experts have said that this historic ruling on same-sex marriage could improve the health of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

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Previous studies have shown that heterosexual people who are married have better physical and mental health than people who are not married. Evidence suggests that marriage may provide the same benefits for same-sex couples. 

Richard Wight, a community health researcher at the University of California said, "We know that marriage does enhance people's health. Now, there's the potential for marriage to enhance the health of sexual minorities in the same way it does for heterosexual people." 

In a recent study conducted by Wight and colleagues it was found that sexual minorities who were in same-sex marriages were no different than married heterosexuals in terms of their general level of psychological stress. Wight said, "The right to marriage may have the potential to offset differences in mental health between sexual minorities and heterosexuals." 

Another study, which surveyed more than 2,600 people who were gay, lesbian or bisexual, found that people who were in legally recognized relationships reported lower levels of stress, fewer depressive symptoms and more meaning in their lives than those who were in committed relationships that did not have a legal status. The exact reasons why marriage improves people's health are not known, but it may be due to several factors, including being in a supportive relationship and having an improved financial status. 

The benefits of legalizing same-sex marriage may extend to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) community who are not married. A 2011 study revealed that after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2003, there was a decrease in health care visits.

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