Gay Marriage Laws Actually Improve Health Of Gay Men

Published: December 16, 2011

A new study finds that the health of gay men living in states that pass laws allowing same-?sex couples to marry actually improves — whether or not they actually get married. The Columbia University study focused on gay men in Massachusetts and found in the 12 months after Massachusetts legalized same-?sex marriage, gay men went to doctors and mental health professionals less frequently.

It’s not much of a jump, therefore, to suggest that politicians and religious activists who are actively working to deny same-?sex marriage equality are literally making the LGBT community sick.

This study should be sent to every lawmaker in the country.

“Gay men are able to lead healthier, less stress-?filled lives when states offer legal protections to same-?sex couples, according to a new study examining the effects of the legalization of same-?sex marriage in Massachusetts,” a Columbia University news report states. “The study, ‘Effect of Same-?Sex Marriage Laws on Health Care Use and Expenditures in Sexual Minority Men: A Quasi-?Natural Experiment,’ is online in the American Journal of Public Health.

    “Our results suggest that removing these barriers improves the health of gay and bisexual men,” said Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, PhD, lead author of the study and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the Mailman School.

    In the 12 months following the 2003 legalization of same-?sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men had a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health care visits, and mental health care costs, compared with the 12 months before the law change. This amounted to a 13-?percent reduction in health care visits and a 14-?percent reduction in health care costs. These health effects were similar for partnered and single gay men.

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