Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people have more health problems and poorer wellbeing in parts of the country that mostly voted against marriage equality, new research shows.

The University of Queensland study looked at health and wellbeing data along with last year’s marriage equality postal survey results for Australian electorates.

It found that straight people had the overall best health, but the gap was reduced in electorates with higher rates of support for marriage equality.

Dr Francisco Perales from The University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research said that “minority stress” and stigma towards LGB people were key factors in explaining their poorer health and wellbeing.

“LGB people living in electorates with higher percentages of No voters in the 2017 postal survey reported poorer general health, mental health and life satisfaction than LGB people living elsewhere,” he said.

The research showed that a lack of social support available for LGB people in some places also affected wellbeing.

Dr Perales said the study findings had implications for social policy development to improve social and health outcomes for LGB people in Australia.

“Our results highlight the need for interventions that reduce the complex discrimination faced by LGB people and increase the social support available to them,” he said.

Most of the 150 federal electorates returned a majority Yes vote in last year’s survey that led to marriage equality.

The 17 electorates with majority No voters were primarily in Western Sydney and regional Queensland.

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