The right wing loves to pathologize homosexuality and portray LGBT people as sick. The great irony is that the right’s homophobic policies and depictions are what actually have negative effects on the psychological well-being of the LGBT community.
In an NPR interview Tuesday morning, Mark Hatzenbuehler, a psychologist at Columbia University who studies the health effects of social policies, explained that bans on same-sex marriage have a negative effect of LGBT people’s mental health, while legalization of same-sex marriage has a positive one. Hatzenbuehler reviewed date collected by the National Institutes of Health, which surveyed the mental health of 43,093 Americans before several same-sex marriage bans went into effect. The NIH followed up after the marriage bans and re-interviewed 34,653 of the original subjects.
Hatzenbuehler, along with his colleagues Katie McLaughlin, Katherine Keyes and Deborah Hasinfound that, “Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who lived in the states that banned same-sex marriage experienced a significant increase in psychiatric disorders… There was a 37% increase in mood disorders … a 42% increase in alcohol-use disorders, and — I think really strikingly — a 248% increase in generalized anxiety disorders.” […]