Marriage has Health Benefits for Gays as Well
An article from the UK News-Telegraph reviews how marriage provides both physical and mental health benefits for the couples involved. They look at other countries who have had civil partnerships for gays for some years and expect that these benefits will accure for same sex couples in the UK as well.
We don't need to wait to see if civil unions benefit gay couples to appreciate the health improvements that result when gays are more accepted in society. We need only look at the marked improvements that have occurred over the last 12 years or so for our gay and lesbian youngsters as a result of the safe schools program and the inclusion of sexual orientation as a part of a school's anti-bullying programs. Gay-straight alliances have also been a great help.
Insisting that gay and lesbian students be treated with the same respect that all students deserve has gone a long way in reducing suicide rates and other self destructive behaviors among gay and lesbian teens. Fewer need counseling and problems are resolved more quickly when anti-gay attitudes in the community are reduced. I hope we continue to make progress in this area.
Similarly, as civil unions and gay marriage become more common and greater community acceptance results, this will have a positive effect, not only on the health of the couples involved, but also on the community as a whole. Carrying around hate in your heart for blacks, gay, or others leads to a chronic increase in stress levels which can lead to the cardio-vascular problems that Dr. King describes in the article.
As more of our citizens put aside the misinformation spewed out by anti-gay groups and come to the better understanding of gays that legitimate science provides, gays will become a more integral part of our communities and the healthier for everyone involved in the process.
So yes, these unions will result in these couples being healthier, and as we are more accepting of these gay and lesbian couples in our communities, the rest of us will be healthier as well.