A study of gay men before and after the passage of marriage equality in Massachusetts showed a drop in their visits to health clinics after the Bay State legalized same-sex marriage in 2004.
Columbia University researchers surveyed the demand for medical and mental health care from 1,211 gay men registered with a particular health clinic in the 12 months prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage and the 12 months afterward. There was a 13% drop in clinic visits after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage. The research showed the reduction in health care needs transcended both single and coupled men, suggesting that the change had more to do with a reduction in stigma than the benefit of matrimony.
"There is a known link between health and happiness," a spokesman for the Terrence Higgins Trust, a U.K.-based sexual health and HIV charity, told the BBC. "It's no surprise that people who are treated as second class citizens tend to have low self esteem, which in turn makes them more likely to take risks. Whether this is drugs, alcohol abuse, or unsafe sex, treating gay men unequally has lasting repercussions for their health." Read more here.