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Legalization of Same-sex Marriage can Improve Health

Doctors in Legalized States have Seen a Decrease in Visits

According to an article in USA today, a new study recently found that gay men who live in states where same-sex marriage is legal are healthier, have less stress, make fewer doctor visits and have lower health-care costs.

This study included 1,200 patients who were at a large Massachusetts health clinic that provides services for gay men and other sexual minorities. In the 12 months following the 2003 legalizations of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, there was a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health visits, and mental health care costs among gay and bisexual men in comparison to the 12 months prior when same-sex marriage was still illegal.

Once legalized, it led to a 13 percent reduction in health care visits and a 14 percent reduction in health care costs. This was also true for single gay men as well as those with partners. However, there was no reduction seen in HIV-related health visits by HIV-positive men, which is suggestive that those who need HIV/AIDS care will still continue to use the health services. This study was published a couple days ago on the 15th of December in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lesbians however, were not included in the study because there were not enough who visited the clinic where it was conducted. Previous research has shown that not having the legal right to marry can have very stressful effects on gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. There is hope that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to healthier lives for those who previously were denied the right to marry who they love.