Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage Good for Men's Mental Health

It appears that the passage of laws allowing same-sex couples to marry have significant benefits that go beyond those that come with the legal advantages that marriage bestows. A study in Massachusetts, where same-sex couples have had the right to marry since 2003, found that in the first 12 months after the law was enacted, gay men's health care use and costs went down significantly. This reduction applied whether the health care visits were for mental health or physical health issues, according to research by Mark Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D., a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University, and colleagues. And this apparent improvement in gay men's health did not apply only to men who had married a same-sex partner, but to gay men who were not in a partnered relationship as well. The study was published online December 15 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Read about the mental health implications of same-sex marriage laws in Psychiatric News here and here.

(image: Cindy Hughes/shutterstock.com)

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