A study published last Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who are married have significantly lower levels of psychological distress when compared to their spinster counterparts.
According to the study:
Psychological distress was not significantly distinguishable among people in legally recognized same-sex or heterosexual relationships. There were, however, big differences in well-being between gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women who were married and those who were not in any sort of legally recognized union.
The study is based on the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which includes data from more than 47,000 hetero- and homosexual men and women, ages 18 to 70, regarding psychosocial distress, legal relationship status, education and employment status, as well as self-perceived overall health.
“One one level, it’s not surprising,” study author Allen LeBlanc, a professor of sociology at San Francisco State University, told ABC News. “We know that heterosexual marriage provides a higher perception of social integration and support. It makes sense that same-sex marriages would carry some of the same benefits.”
The study comes shortly after the Supreme Court announced plans to review two marriage equality cases in the coming year, thus potentially altering the law of the land. UCLA’s Richard Wright, another author of the study, hopes the Supreme Court will take their findings into consideration.
“I think it’s reasonable to think that legally blocking people from marriage can put their mental health at risk,” Wright said. “The Supreme Court should consider this when they’re mulling over this decision.”
Photo: Nanjo29 via Wikimedia Commons