By Dr. Scout, Director of LGBT HealthLinkWe’re all cheering loudly over this morning’s decision to allow gay marriage across our land. This isn’t just a blow for equal rights, it’s a huge step forward for our health. Every public health student learns about this little thing called the Marriage Protective Hypothesis, it’s how we explain the body of evidence showing legally married people have a range of health advantages over single people, and even over people who are just living together. Married people smoke less, recover from cancer faster, have fewer mental health problems, and live longer. Apparently, it’s good to have someone who’s declared their love for us in a very public way looking out for our health. This isn’t even counting the additional mental health bump we’ll get from knowing there’s less discrimination against us (and of course more support for us) in the country. It’s my prediction that today’s news will mark a watershed moment in LGBT health surveillance.