Gay men are healthier when marriage for
them is available, a new study published in the American Journal
of Public Health has found.
According to its authors, the health of
gay men in Massachusetts improved after the state legalized marriage
for gay and lesbian couples in 2003.
“Our results suggest that removing
these barriers improves the health of gay and bisexual men,” Mark
Hatzenbuehler, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society
Scholar at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health,
in a press release.
“These findings suggest that marriage
equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the
occurrence of stress-related health conditions,” he added.
The 24-month study analyzed health data
from a group of gay men for 1 year before and 1 year after the state
legalized gay marriage.
Visits to health care facilities
plummeted 13% after the law went into effect, which led to a 14% drop
in health care costs.
The study found that the health of
partnered and single gay men improved.
“This research makes important
contributions to a growing body of evidence on the social, economic
and health benefits of marriage equality,” Hatzenbuehler said.