LGBT in states open to same-sex relationships more willing to come out: study
It sounds like common sense, but at least it’s good to know we’ve got data to back this up: a Harvard study has revealed that LGBT living in states open to same-sex relationships are more willing to come out as compared to those living in states that aren’t open.
This is proof that government policy can and does have a direct impact on the LGBT people, especially with anti-LGBT forces trying to curtail LGBT rights like same-sex marriage through legislation.
States open to same-sex relationships
The comprehensive study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, tracked nearly 70,000 women across the US and used data from the Nurses’ Health Study II.
The study noted that these women who live in states that recognize same-sex relationships are more likely to come out as compared to those who live in states that don’t.
According to the study, those who admitted to being straight in 1995 were 30 percent more likely to admit being lesbian or bisexual in 2009 if they were living in a state that recognized same-sex relationships.
“Social policies, such as same-sex marriage laws, can create an unsupportive or a supportive environment for disclosing one’s sexual orientation,” said Brittany Charlton, the lead author of the study and a Harvard Medical School epidemiologist.
Charlton added that this is a concern because it puts these individuals “at elevated risk for adverse health outcomes including depression, anxiety, and limited social support.”
Directed against same-sex relationships
With the new Trump administration peopled by anti-LGBT proponents like Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the study’s implications means that the LGBT may have a harder time coming out in the next few years.
“The incoming administration ran for office on the most discriminatory platform in history regarding sexual orientation and gender identity,” Charlton pointed out.
She added that there’s a real concern about the “lives and safety of LGBT individuals across the country” once Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
“The incoming Trump administration has not provided any reassurances that the rights of LGBT individuals will be protected. Even if rights remain in place like those to marriage and military service, the new administration could deny equality to LGBT people in other ways,” she said.
“Employment and housing discrimination will continue without new legislation like the Equality Act and other advances could be halted that the Obama administration put in place,” she noted.