3137.1 Same-Sex Marriage and Health: Evidence and Relevance for Public Health

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:30 AM
It has long been acknowledged that “marriage is a healthy state,” and it has been suggested that similar benefits may exist for same-sex couples. Since the passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, entry into marriage has been alternately restricted or expanded at the local and state levels. In light of the 2008 California Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage and the ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban recognition of these marriages, the LGBT Caucus of Public Health Workers will convene a late-breaker session to examine same-sex marriage in the context of health. Panelists from diverse social science disciplines will describe the mechanisms for the health benefits of marriage, present empirical findings drawn from studies of same-sex couples, and discuss the implications of marriage to LGBT population health.
Session Objectives: List the mechanisms linking marriage to health outcomes. Describe the evidence base for the beneficial health effects of marriage in same-sex contexts. Identify gaps in current knowledge about these health effects.
Seth Welles, ScD, PhD

10:50 AM
I do, or do I? Same-sex couples in legal relationships
Esther Rothblum, PhD and Kimberly F. Balsam, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus of Public Health Workers