The mental health of gay New Zealanders may improve if same-sex marriage becomes legal.

That is the view of the Mental Health Foundation which has made a submission supporting the Marriage Amendment Bill.

Chief executive Judi Clements says sexual and gender minorities experience significantly poorer mental health than others.

She says feeling they aren't accepted in society, chips away at people's sense of wellbeing.


She says the poor mental health outcomes she has seen within the gay community may improve with increased social and legal acceptance of their relationships.

Ms Clements says research shows people who feel free of discrimination are less likely to experience mental health problems.