The results of the American study showed that after same-sex marriages were legalised in the state of Massachusetts, the amount of visits to health clinics experienced a significant drop, irrespective of whether or not the men in question were in a stable relationship.
The researchers who conducted the study found that there was a 13% drop in health visits after the new law was passed and there was also a reduction in blood pressure issues, depression and stress related “adjustment disorders”.
Lead author of the study Dr Mark Hatzenbuehler said,” Our results suggest that removing these barriers improves the health of gay and bisexual men
“Marriage equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions.”
With previous research already indicating that gay men are more likely to experience depression and/or suicidal thoughts then heterosexual men, this new wave of research adds further weight to the idea that social exclusion – including disapproval over gay marriage, could be partly to blame.
Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK-based sexual health and HIV charity, have agreed that there is a known link between health and happiness.
According to a spokesperson from the charity, we should not be surprised that individuals who are treated as second-class citizens have low self-esteem – which may be why they are more likely to engage in behaviour that poses health risks.
“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.”
If you or someone you know are having difficulty coming to terms with your sexuality and you would like to talk about your experiences with a qualified counsellor in confidence, please visit the homepage of this site and use the search tool to contact a professional in your local area.
View and comment on the original BBC News article.