Marriage Recognition and Recent Political Events Study

Study Overview and FAQ 

Why do we need a study on the impact of marriage recognition and other political events impacting LGBT people?

There is an urgent need for research on the health of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, and transgender identified people.  Although there has been a lot of research on HIV/AIDS, LBQ+ women and transgender people face a lot of other issues that are important to their health and well-being.   We need to better understand these issues.   

By doing this study we hope to better understand the impact of marriage recognition (both equal rights to marry within states and recognition of marriage across states) on the health and well-being of lesbian and bisexual women and on trans* individuals.  Given the possible impact of the recent election on the LGBTQ+ community, the study also includes questions about your experiences and perceptions since the election, such as possible concerns about the future. 

Who is eligible to complete the survey?

The study is open to anyone over age 18 who identifies as a lesbian, bisexual, queer, or same-sex attracted woman, and/or who identifies as trans* (for example, gender queer, trans-woman, trans-man, nonbinary trans, gender fluid).  For more details about the survey, or to participate, use the link below.

Link to the survey:  

Marriage Recognition Study

(Copy and paste if needed):


Why does it matter?

We expect that this research project will increase understanding of the effects of legal, political, and cultural changes,  Such information can be used to improve the health and wellness of women, trans* individuals and the LGBTQ+ communities.

Who are the researchers?

We are a team of researchers from San Jose State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Kentucky, who are studying how stigma and discrimination negatively impact LBQ+ and transgender health.  Our research has examined depression, alcohol use, discrimination, violence and victimization.  We have also studied ways to promote health, such as building social support, connecting to the LGTBQ+ community, religiosity/spirituality, relationships, and positive identities.  (See more about us below!)


What about opportunities to participate in other important research on LGBT health and well-being?

If interested, you can also sign up for future research opportunities to ensure your voice is heard on other topics and issues.  Signing simply means that you may be invited to participate in other studies in the future.  You are under no obligation to participate. This will always be your choice.

Research Team (in Alphabetic Order):

Laurie Drabble, MSW, MPH, PhD, is a Professor at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Social Work and an Affiliate Scientist with the Alcohol Research Group (ARG).  Since 2001, she has worked with colleagues at ARG and other researchers on studies about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among sexual minority groups (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual) based on the National Alcohol Survey (NAS). The NAS was one of the first population-based health surveys to include sexual identity questions, and the NAS team continues to conduct pioneering research about both risk and protective factors related to LGB health.  In addition to her research with sexual and gender minority groups, Laurie is involved in research related to women's health and evaluation of community-based intervention designed to address the needs of women and families impacted by alcohol and drug problems.  

Tonda Hughes, RN, PhD, FAAN is Collegiate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health in the College of Nursing and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  Tonda is well known for her ground breaking work focusing on lesbian health and she is an internationally recognized expert in the area of alcohol use among sexual minority (i.e., lesbian and bisexual) women.  Since 1999 she has lead the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women (CHLEW) study. This study was one of the first studies of sexual minority women’s health to be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is now the longest running longitudinal study of its kind. Tonda has also served as co-investigator on numerous other funded studies with multidisciplinary researchers from major universities in the U.S. and in Australia.

Ellen D.B. Riggle, PhD, is Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kentucky.  Ellen is co-author of two recent books: A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being, and Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community.  Her research interests include positive LGBTQ identity, the effects of minority stress on the well-being of LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples, and legal status issues for same-sex couples. For more information about Dr. Riggle's research, please visit:

Cindy Veldhuis, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Research on Women and Gender and in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cindy received her BA in Psychology and Theater Arts and her MS in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oregon, and her PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her dissertation examined the largely understudied area of depression and neighborhood factors that may impede or support women’s preventive care use among women in Chicago. As a postdoctoral fellow, she works with Dr. Tonda Hughes as part of her longitudinal study of SMW’s health, the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women (CHLEW) study. Cindy’s research focuses on the potentially health protective role that intimate relationships may provide for sexual minority women. 

If you have questions about the study, please email