Tuller: Research suggests same-sex marriage legalization may come with improved health outcomes

June 15, 2017

stethoscope and pen on notepadHealth Affairs: Researchers are finding evidence that suggests marriage equality contributes to improved health outcomes for LGBT people, according to an article published in the May issue of Health Affairs and authored by David Tuller, academic coordinator for the concurrent master’s program in public health and journalism.

In the article, Tuller touches on an expanding catalog of research linking legal, same-sex marriage and its physical and psychological effects. Tuller notes that in the United States, where the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, same-sex marriage have reported reduced anxiety around health issues as the disparity in health insurance access have dropped.

Research on the topic is still relatively new. However, researchers have long known that married couples fare better on most health measures, Tuller writes. Additionally, Tuller says “researchers have built on previous studies about the health effects of experiencing social stigma, which can lead to negative self-perceptions.”

Tuller points to research that that increased access to health insurance can reduce health disparities and also lead to increased social acceptance. He notes that researchers caution the findings are not definitive.

The article concludes by raising concerns that removing key questions from government surveys will make it harder to measure health disparities between LGBT people and others. “Health experts have expressed alarm…fearing that the administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to reduce or even eliminate the collection of information related to sexual orientation,” writes Tuller.

Read the full article in Health Affairs.