Gay marriage equality linked to health benefit

The US state of Massachusetts legalised same-sex marriage in 2003, and a study now shows a related drop-off in health service use among gay men.

The demand for medical and mental health care among 1211 gay and bisexual men who were registered with a health clinic was assessed in the 12 months before and after gay marriage was legalised.

Statistically significant decreases were seen in medical care visits (mean of 5.00 declining to 4.67), mental health care visits (24.72 to 22.20), and mental health care costs (US$2442 to US$2137).

“Marriage equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions,” the authors, from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said.

This effect was not modified by partnership status, indicating the law change conferred a health benefit to all gay men, not only those who got married.

Lesbians were not