Gay and Lesbian Medical Association launches Marriage Equality Initiative
We always see studies touting the benefits of marriage in terms of health and wellness; it's wonderful to see medical professionals speak out to educate why those mental and physical health benefits should be available to gay and lesbian couples. (GLMA):
According to its newly published report, “Same-Sex Marriage and Health,” there is a positive correlation between same-sex marriage and health and wellness. Same-sex marriage also confers important protections for the children of gays and lesbians. Many mainstream healthcare professionals societies have endorsed same-sex marriage, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, California District; the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.
It certainly doesn't affect any heterosexual marriages to advocate for the right of same-sex couples to marry. Key points from the report are below the fold.
From the GLMA report:
The denial of marriage rights to same sex couples is a form of discrimination that perpetuates stigma and contributes to stress. Minority stress is associated with a variety of physical and mental health problems. The denial of marriage rights to same sex couples is often based on stereotypes and assumptions that have been proven false. The premier medical authorities in the United States, having reviewed the scientific research, endorse equal access to civil marriage.
* We should seek and follow experts’ scientifically-based policies for guidance in considering laws that impact family, child, and community health.
* Leading experts, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, endorse equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples. Marriage can help protect and promote the mental and physical health of lesbians and gay men.
* Marriage is associated with multiple mental and physical health benefits.
* Marriage is also associated with many tangible and intangible benefits that support psychological health, including access to healthcare through a spouse.
* Other kinds of legal recognition of same-sex relationship do not provide the full range of benefits provided by marriage. Marriage can help protect and promote the health of children being raised by gay men and lesbians.
* Millions of children are currently being raised by same-sex couples. Their health and well-being are at risk because of the lack of legal and insurance protections that are granted automatically through marriage. They benefit when their families are respected and afforded legal protections.
* Multiple, published credible research studies find no differences in parenting skills by sexual orientation or in the psychological health or adjustment of children raised by heterosexual or homosexual parents. Marriage can help protect and promote the health of aging gay and lesbian individuals.
* Many older gay and lesbian people are in long-term committed relationships.
* Without legal recognition, older lesbians and gay men will face additional stressors related to their finances which have the potential to worsen their physical and mental health.