Gay marriage, also known as same-sex marriage, is the marriage between two people of the same sex, either as a civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Up until recently gay marriage was rare and unheard of, but now in many developed countries gay marriage is legal.
Opinions across the populations have gone up in time. In 2005 adults were asked if they thought "homosexual marriages should or shouldn't be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages", only 28% thought that the law should recognize gay marriage, while 68% replied in the negative.
When the same question was asked again in 2013, 50% answered that they supported gay marriage, while only 41% said they were against it. This clearly shows a growing trend in support of gay marriage, which has led to recent legalization of gay marriage in many countries like the UK and the US.
There have been numerous studies conducted which have a correlation between mental health and the legality of gay marriage in gay people.
In 2010, a Colombia University Mailman School of Public Health studied the effect of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals. The study found that LGB individuals living in states without recognition for gay marriage have an increase in psychiatric disorders and double the rate of social anxiety. This is evidence to suggest that not allowing gay people their right to marry can cause some harmful effects on their mind.
HIV rates are notoriously high amongst gay people. Gay men represent approximately 2% of the US population yet are the group most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, gay men between the ages of 13-24 years old accounted for 72% of new HIV infections amongst all 13-24 year olds. At the end of 2011, an estimated 57% of all people living with HIV in the US were gay or bisexual.
Research into these high instances of HIV amongst gay people in 2009, at Emory University, concluded that states that banned gay marriage had a higher rate of HIV infection amongst the LGB community. This is evidence that gay marriage even protects against deadly dieseases such as HIV that permeate in the LGB community.Gay marriage has only become accepted on a wider scale in developed countries, and this is a good thing, since countless studies have linked the legality of same-sex marriage to the increase in physical and mental health amongst the gay population and it even lowers the rate of deadly diseases such as HIV.