Gay marriage reduces stress-related illness

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Depression, anxiety and high blood pressure were significantly reduced among gay men after Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage. The health benefits were shared by gay men who married and those who remained single, indicating that it isn’t marriage that reduces stress related illness, but social acceptance.

The School of Public health at Columbia University studied 1,211 patients at a Massachusetts health clinic with a large LGBT practice; comparing the 12 months before and after Massachusetts allowed gays to marry in 2004.

There was a 13 percent reduction in stress related illness and a 14 percent reduction in cost. So not only is permitting gay marriage just, but also fiscally responsible.

“When you legalize same-sex marriage, it kind of changes the social environment around gays and lesbians,” said, Mark Hatzenbuele, who led the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health. “And that reduces social stigma and stress that has downstream health consequences.”

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