A leading insurance comparison website has caused a storm of debate by claiming gay men have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than heterosexual men.

Insure.com, which provides quotes from more than 200 insurers to people across the US, has posted an article claiming research has shown that gay men do not live as long as heterosexual men.

In an article headed Gay men die 20 years younger insure.com’s Joseph White, blames AIDS and gay lifestyles for this alleged difference.

“The studies did not disagree that gay men were dying younger than most other people. Why? The majority of the morbidity stems from AIDS,” he wrote.

“But there is also a significant amount of drug use involved in many parts of gay culture, as well as increased incidence of psychological illness, family instability and suicide.”

White goes on to suggest gay men are at a higher risk of dying than smokers or the obese.

He also questions insurers’ decision not to charge higher premiums to gay life insurance customers.

The LGBT community in the US is up in arms over White’s claims and insure.com’s apparent refusal to remove the comments, according to website Box Turtle Bulletin.

BTB’s Timothy Kincaid and Jim Burroway have branded the claims “false and defamatory.”

Kincaid claims he has been investigating the claims made in White’s article for several weeks and found them to be based on misleading and flawed research, some of it conducted by American psychologist Paul Cameron, who has allegedly linked homosexuality with paedophilia and approved of Nazi policies towards homosexuality.

According to BTB, insure.com CEO Robert Bland is standing by the article and has defended Paul Cameron.

In a comment on Kincaid‘s article, Bland responded:

“We think that there’s a human interest story to be researched here on why all US life insurers decline HIV-positive applicants (many of whom are healthy) but will not even attempt to s segregate gays who … may have a much shorter lifespan than non-gays.”

BTB said they were “dumbstruck” by Bland’s response and have refuted any claims that there is evidence to suggest gay men have a shorter life expectancy than heterosexuals.

PinkNews.co.uk recently reported that in the UK, the Association of British Insurers has updated its consumer guide for gay men covering HIV and life insurance.

The ABA claims that lesbian and gay people are treated fairly and that civil partnerships are treated the same as marriages by the insurance industry.

However research published in April has revealed that many leading insurers in the UK are still sending gay men for unnecessary HIV tests.

It also found that 80% of frontline customer service staff of British insurance companies gave incorrect information on gay men and insurance.