Same sex marriage to improve health: Experts

Washington, June 28 (IANS) The historic US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage could improve the health of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, says experts.

Evidence shows heterosexual people who are married have better physical and mental health than people who are not married.

Research done so on same sex marriage also suggests that marriage may provide the same benefits for same-sex couples.

“We know that marriage does enhance people’s health,” Richard Wight, a community health researcher at the University of California was quoted as saying in a Live Science report.

“Now, there’s the potential for marriage to enhance the health of sexual monitories in the same way it does for heterosexual people,” Wight added.

A recent study that Wight and colleagues conducted found that sexual monitories who were in same-sex marriages were no different than married heterosexuals in terms of their general level of psychological stress.

The right to marriage may have the potential to offset differences in mental health between sexual monitories and heterosexuals, Wight said.

Another study, which surveyed more than 2,600 people who were gay, lesbian or bisexual, found that those 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 a number of factors, including being in a supportive relationship and having an improved financial status.

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

The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that same-sex couples can marry nationwide and states cannot ban such marriages.

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