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Study: legal recognition of same-sex couples good for mental health

Currently, Arkansas does not have any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. This is not to say that the state government won't, at some point, extend the same rights and protections to same-sex couples that different-sex couples hold, but it is uncertain when that will be. Unfortunately, a new study has been released that legal recognition and, specifically marriage, makes same-sex couples happier.

Some people in Little Rock may think that this study is just proving what everyone already assumed, but now scientists have evidence that individuals in same-sex marriages have received the benefits of better mental health. The study looked at one of the growing number of states that has, at some point, allowed for same-sex marriage, examining those couples who were in registered domestic partnerships and marriages.

Researchers are quick to caution, however, that the study is not proving that it is the marriage that is causing the increased happiness. It may be that it is those individuals who are happy and in well-adjusted relationships that choose to marry. In addition, most of the people in same-sex marriages are older and wealthier, meaning their happiness may also be drawn from the fact that they have more creature comforts.

Regardless of why men and women in legally-recognized same-sex relationships are happier, they are. Until there is some kind of legal recognition in Arkansas, however, there may not be the general boost in mental health among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals that has been seen in other states.

You can learn more about the variety of legal services we provide for same-sex couples in Arkansas by visiting our website.

Source: MSNBC, "Married Same-Sex Couples Are Happier," Stephanie Pappas, Dec. 13, 2012

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