Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being

Findings from the California Health Interview Survey
December 2012

This report examines whether same-sex marriage was associated with nonspecific psychological distress among LGB adults and whether it had the potential to offset mental health disparities between LGB and heterosexual people. It appeared in the American Journal of Public Health in February 2013.

  • Richard G. Wight
    Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Allen J. LeBlanc
    Department of Sociology and the Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University
  • M.V. Lee Badgett
    Distinguished Scholar
Research demonstrates that LGB people have worse mental health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts.
Same-sex married LGB people were significantly less distressed than LGB people not in a legally recognized relationship.
Married heterosexuals had the lowest psychological distress, and LGB people not in legalized relationships had the highest.
Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being