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Journal: Gay marriage 'is good for health'

This BBC article headline stems from the oft-quoted figures that gays and lesbians suffer from higher rates of depression, cancer and substance abuse. Usually the wingers attribute it to some organic issue tied to being gay itself, which is ludicrous. It doesn’t serve their purposes to look at the societal factors that are, to anyone with common sense, the actual reason for the statistics.

A scientific periodical, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, approaches the data from a different angle.

The report said civil partnerships, which were introduced in England and Wales in December, were likely to reduce prejudice and social exclusion.

…Professor Michael King, of University College London, who co-wrote the article, said: “Civil partnerships are likely to break down some of the prejudice and promote greater understanding, including among staff working in the health service.

“Legal civil partnerships could increase the stability of same sex relationships and minimise the social exclusion to which gay and lesbian people are often subjected.”

…And the report said studies had shown those who are in a stable relationship, of either the same or opposite sex, enjoyed some health benefits. It cited Swiss research which showed patients with HIV in stable partnerships were more likely to progress more slowly to Aids.

And other studies have revealed that married same sex couples had greater openness about their sexual orientation and closer relationships with their relatives than same sex couples not in civil partnerships.

Also, 365gay places this study in context with an article on the effects that the marriage amendment has had in the state of Texas.

A counseling center that provides psychotherapy services to Austin’s LGBT community says that the constitutional amendment passed by Texas voters last November is taking a toll on the mental of health of gays and lesbians in the state.

“After the election and through December, we are aware that the number of clients that we’re dealing with who have suicidal thoughts and behaviors or actions really dramatically increased,” Derek Leighton with Waterloo Counseling Center said.

Leighton said that people feel feel disenfranchised and discarded.

Even center Executive Director Gail Goodman said she has been affected by the outcome of the vote.

“I felt betrayed, and I felt alone. The feeling that 90 percent of Texas didn’t value me. It wasn’t about whether I wanted to get married or not. It was more about Texas saying, ‘You’re not OK,'” Goodman said, adding that she and her partner of 11 years, Lynne Milburn, feel unsafe and have thought about moving to another state.

When you legislate intolerance and create second-class citizens out of law-abiding taxpayers, this is the result. The loving “Christians” who are so worried about the sanctity of marriage justify the prejudice that they harbor toward LGBT people by twisting data to further demonize them as sick or dangerous people.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding