Impact of Civil Marriage Recognition for Long-Term Same-Sex Couples

By Ellen D. B. Riggle (University of Kentucky), Robert E. Wickham (Palo Alto University), Sharon S. Rostosky (University of Kentucky), Esther D. Rothblum (San Diego State University and The Williams Institute) and Kimberly F. Balsam (Palo Alto University)
July 2016

Same-sex marriage recognition at the state level was associated with more support from a spouse or partner and less psychological distress about an LGB identity, according to a recent study conducted prior to the recognition of marriage in all 50 US States. Furthermore, the study, entitled “Impact of Civil Marriage Recognition for Long Term Same-Sex Couples” by Ellen D. B. Riggle (University of Kentucky), Robert E. Wickham (Palo Alto University), Sharon S. Rostosky (University of Kentucky), Esther D. Rothblum (San Diego State University and The Williams Institute) and Kimberly F. Balsam (Palo Alto University), also finds that long-term same-sex relationships are beneficial to the health and well-being of couple members, regardless of marital status.

Key findings from the study include that state recognition of same-sex marriages is significantly associated with experiencing less motivation to conceal an LGB identity, less vigilance and fewer feelings of isolation and that marriage may also reinforce commitment within a relationship, leading couple members to feel more positively about their relationship with their partner.

Read the full report.

Read the press release.