Researchers at the Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Center for LGBT Health Research have published a study finding that those who identify as LGBT+ report increasingly poor health in states with religious freedom laws.
Researchers focused on number of “unhealthy days” in the past 30 days reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. “Unhealthy days” are defined as days in which physical and mental health were not good. In one particular case, researchers found that LGBT+ identifying people in Indiana reported a significant increase in number of “unhealthy days” following the passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In the context of a national conversation pitting religious freedom against LGBT+ civil rights, the finding highlights the danger such laws pose to LGBT+ well-being.
“This project adds to a growing body of research demonstrating that experiences of discrimination are associated with poor health outcomes in a range of minority populations,” said study co-author and University of Delaware associate professor Erin Cassese.
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