State-Level Policies and the Health of Men and Women in Same-Gender Unions

Wendy Manning1, Kara Joyner1, Lisa Carlson2, Krista Payne1
1Bowling Green State University, 2BGSU

Objectives. We focused on men and women in same-gender coresidential (married and cohabiting) unions and examined whether their self-reported health differed depending on whether or not they resided in a state offering employment protection for sexual minorities.

Methods. We draw on pooled observations of individuals in same-gender unions from the 2017 and 2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey. We used ordered logistic regression models to estimate the effects of state-level employment protection on the level of health for individuals controlling for a broad set of socioeconomic variables.

Results. Individuals living in a state with employment protections reported significantly higher levels of health than their counterparts living in a states without these protections. 

Conclusions. Our results demonstrate the importance of state-level policies in the contemporary climate following the passage of marriage equality legislation for all couples in June 2015.