Gay marriage boosts happiness, health: study

New York Daily News

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Here come the grooms — and the health and happiness perks, according to a new study.

Marriage is known to come with goodies besides wedding gifts. Tying the knot has been shown to boost physical and mental well-being for spouses. You know — happy wife, happy life.

A new study shows that gay marriage — or, as many in the LGBT community call it, marriage — boasts the same benefits.

The University of Washington research — part of the national longitudinal investigation: “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality/Gender Study” — is among the first look at health and social impacts of gay marriage.

So move over, Dick and Jane. It’s time for Janet and Mary. And Andy and Mark — and other same-sexers — to get some study time.

“There were big gaps for health and well-being between married gay couples and gay singles,” lead author Jayn Goldsen, research study supervisor in the UW School of Social Work, told the Daily News.

The UW study surveyed more than 1,800 LGBT people, ages 50 and older. Subjects were in 2014 in locations where gay marriage was already legal — 32 states and Washington, D.C.

About 25% were married, another 25% were in a committed relationship, and 50% were single. Married respondents had spent an average of 23 years together, while those in a committed, unmarried relationship had spent an average of 16 years.

Through survey materials measuring physical and emotional well-being, couples who’d tied the knot or were in a long-term committed relationship fared better than singles. But married couples did the best of all.

Physical health was measured by asking how subjects rate their general health and whether they have a disability. To gauge happiness, participants were asked questions like “How much do you enjoy life?” and “How satisfied are you with yourself?”

More study is needed to understand why married gays fare the best. Financial resources, children and living together are variables that are factors.

Being openly gay also may play a role, said Goldsen. “Those who were married were more out than those who were unmarried with long-term partners, who, in turn were more out than those who were single.”