Friday, March 27, 2009

Study Examines Effect of Marriage on G/L Couples

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Observer Update) - The legal recognition of same-sex relationships, including marriage, influences how Gay and Lesbian baby boomers prepare for late life and end of life issues, a new study has found, reported Unmarried same-sex couples may suffer greater fear and anxiety around end of life issues than those in state-sanctioned unions, according to the findings.

The research was conducted by scientists at San Francisco State University, the University of Minnesota and George Washington University. It appears this month in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy. “We are just beginning to explore the effects of legal recognition of relationships among Lesbian and Gay adults,” said Brian deVries, professor of gerontology and lead author of the study.

DeVries said that Lesbian and Gay baby boomers who live in states that do not legally recognize same-sex couples are more likely to have prepared for the end of life by completing such documents as living wills than those who live in states that do recognize their relationships. At the same time, these Lesbian and Gay people, single or part of a couple, are more likely to have greater fears and anxieties about end of life and later life issues. “The bottom line is that those who reside in states that do not recognize relationships or sanctioned marriages between same-sex couples feel less cared for and less cared about and must take extra legal steps to prepare for their later years,” deVries said. “The absence of recognition of same-sex relationships conveys a sense of second-class citizenship and a stress associated with such unwelcome status.”

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