Interesting opinion piece from the Star Tribune that highlights positive health impacts of married couples. Dr. Edward P. Ehlinger, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, shares that:
Married men and women have lower rates of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, smoking, substance abuse and cancer. After controlling for other factors, married couples have higher levels of cognitive functioning, happiness and life satisfaction. All the health benefits of marriage are consistent across age, race and education groups.
The author goes on to highlight that both the American Medical Association and the Minnesota Medical Association Board of Trustees have taken the position that they will work to reduce discrepancies for same-sex couples:
In its policy titled “Health Care Disparities in Same-Sex Partners,” the American Medical Association states that “… exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households” and that the AMA “will work to reduce health care disparities among members of same-sex households including minor children; and will support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.” The Minnesota Medical Association Board of Trustees has adopted a similarly worded position.
The letter also highlights the fact that marriage amendments lead to an increase in bullying and greater intolerance. As a result, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared its opposition to the marriage amendment.
Overall, the message is clear: the marriage amendment on ballots this fall accomplishes nothing positive. Marriage doesn’t need “protection” from committed same-sex couples. Rather, marriage should celebrate their commitment to one another. The studies referenced in this letter show that we all benefit.