Sunday, February 19, 2012
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Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage May Make Gay Men Healthier: Study

gay coupleSame-sex marriage may make for healthier gay men, a new study finds.

 A report published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that in states where gay marriage is legal, homosexual men visit doctors less and their health costs go down considerably.

 "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, said in a news release.

 "These findings suggest that marriage equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions," he said.

 The study spanned a 12-month period starting in 2003 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize the practice. It included more than 1,200 patients at a health clinic there that provides services for gay men, as well as other sexual minorities.

 Health care visits dropped 13% during that period, when compared to the year before, the study stated. This led to a 14% drop in health care costs.

 The study found that the health benefits were not limited to gay men with partners, but also single men.

 Lesbians were not included in the study because too few visited the clinic.

 A previous study showed that stress caused by the banning of same-sex marriage has a negative impact on the health of homosexuals, the news released stated.

 Six states have made same-sex marriage legal, including New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. Washington, D.C. also allows for gay marriage.


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