Legal Same-Sex Marriage Improves Health

December 21st, 2011

A doctor proposes to his boyfriend, by holding out a pair of engagement rings:

As if common sense weren’t enough reason to give full, equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, a study out of Columbia University has provided some extra support.

Legal same-sex marriage, according to researchers, reduces the number of medical visits among gay and bisexual men by 13 percent, further reducing health care costs by 14 percent.

Mark Hatzenbuehler, the lead researcher on the study, said that legal equality likely results in health benefits due to a reduction of stress-related issues, both mental and physical. (Living in a committed relationship where someone you love is keeping an eye on your health and safety probably doesn’t hurt either.)

So, if I understand how medical statistical methodology works, allow me to summarize: Since we can marry, gay men in Canada are 13 percent more likely to survive after licking a subway seat. And that’s good to know.

The study was published last week in the American Journal of Public Health, and tracked over 1,200 patients in a Massachusetts health care clinic.