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Imagine that special day, the white dress, or tuxedo standing in front of friends and family anxiously awaiting the love of your life to meet you at the end of the aisle and start forever with. That is a beautiful image, one in which many dream of from childhood but for some it is only a half dream. Same sex marriage is still illegal in most states and while couples may have a ceremony it is not a legal marriage. Some may argue that it makes no difference, that having a ceremony and a life together is still an option.
The subject of same-sex marriage has been deliberated and analyzed on multiple levels. It is certainly a political issue; however it is by all accounts becoming logically less troublesome over time. Some structure the open deliberation in moral terms, while others think of it as a subject of reasonableness and equity. What’s more, obviously, the lawful consequences continue to be investigated as different bans on same-sex marriage are tested in court, wending their route relentlessly and eventually to the Supreme Court (Summers, 2014).
But marriage equality isn’t merely a question of law or morality. It is also a question of health. Legal same sex marriages have surprising health benefits that need to be considered.
Research proposes that wedded individuals appreciate an increased wellbeing over single people. For instance, as compared with those who are single, those who are married are more likely to; live longer, have fewer heart attacks and strokes, are less prone to suffer from depression, are less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis and more likely to survive cancer longer (Schmerling, 2016).
Not only does the bond of marriage decrease the risk of mental health disorders and psychological ramifications but it decreases the risk of physical ailments. In addition, better access to quality healthcare decreases the mortality rate of individuals in the LBGT community (Buffie, 2011). Most insurance plans will not cover individuals that are not a legal spouse which denies proper healthcare for loved ones who deserves the same benefits as those in a heterosexual marriage.
The negative outcomes of not being able to marry in same sex relationships are disheartening. Significantly compromised health care delivery and adverse health outcomes are well documented for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States compared with the population at large. LGBT individuals subject to societal prejudice in a heterosexist world also suffer from the phenomenon known as “minority stress,” with its attendant negative mental and physical health effects (Buffie, 2011). Those in same sex partnerships have been to be more prone to depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug abuse. Geographical areas with a strong homophobic atmosphere especially in which same sex marriage is illegal are shown to have a higher incidence of homicide and suicide. Members of the LGBT community have increased mortality rate of 12 percent than those in heterosexual relationships. Denying this basic human right is significantly detrimental to the health and lives of those in the gay and lesbian community and this needs to be recognized.
The health benefits of having a legal marriage are well studied and undeniable. Yet as a society we continue to deny basic health to people. Millions of dollars are spent every year on healthcare while simple preventative measures are ignored. Some will continue to argue the morally implied issues. That it is unnatural for a man to be married to another man or a woman to another woman. Some will argue that it is against God’s will but how can anyone know that for sure. We are not God, it is not our job to judge a single soul on this earth a person’s choices are theirs alone and that is for them to decide. However, it is the job of humanity to care for each other’s health and wellbeing.
Those who oppose same sex marriage state that there are no health concerns associated with the denial of nuptials. Most of the strong opposition comes from a religious stand point. Stating that the marriage between same sex individuals is unnatural and against God’s will. Some argue that it is an unhealthy lifestyle more prone to sexually transmitted diseases and should not be allowed. Others argue that the marriage between gay couples who want to raise children together are causing mental health concerns for the children involved. While the opposing side does raise some valid concerns when it comes to children there is no significant data to back up these claims. In fact, Theodore Olson, a known conservative republication, argues that a marriage, no matter what the sexual orientation, creates a partnership based on shared dreams and aspirations that benefits all of society, including minors (Olson, 2010).
Lastly, improving the quality of life for all living things should be the responsibility of all humanity. Being denied the individual basic human right to fall in love and marry is one of the most abusive things a person can experience to their soul. Such a feeling would cause mental distress and heartache to anyone leaving them open to an array of health risks. Any marriage can be difficult and can be considered unhealthy if it is the wrong partner or is abusive. But as a whole being able to be openly in love and marry the person of your dreams would put anyone in the healthy frame of mind. A healthy mind equals a healthy body and this is a proven scientific fact. Despite the constant political and social arguments, the basic most important point here is that everyone has a right to good health and marriage improves the chances of a healthier life. If marriage in general is considered healthy then then one can conclude without argument, despite controversy, that same sex marriages are surprisingly healthy.
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