The New England Journal of Medicine reports that data from Massachusetts and California indicate that marriage led to fewer mental health care visits and expenditures for gay men and that it reduced psychological distress among LGBT adults in legally recognized same-sex relationships.
Marriage also strengthens access to health insurance for the 220,000 children who are being raised by same-sex parents in the United States. Employers who offer health insurance to dependent children often require that minors be related to the employee by birth, legal marriage, or legal adoption. Of course, children with LGBT parents are left with diminished protections in states that deny legal marriages and adoptions to same-sex couples. Marriage equality remains an important health policy issue and relevant to the public policy goal of expanding access to health care through employer-sponsored health plans. Gilbert Gonzales, M.H.A. says, “I believe that the health benefits associated with same-sex marriage should be considered in the ongoing debates occurring in legislative chambers, election contests, and federal and state courtrooms.”