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Opening marriage to gay couples ‘would improve sexual health’

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  1. A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health provides insightful research suggesting that gay men were able to lead healthier, less stress-filled lives when states offer legal protections to same-sex couples (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2011). The study showed that in the 12 months following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men had a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health care visits, and mental health care costs, compared with the 12 months before the law changed. The study examined the frequency of visits of 1,211 participants, both before and after the legalization of marriage in Massachusetts (2003). This research is unique in that data before a “natural” event were available for analysis.

    1. Massachusetts has had gay marriage for almost ten years now yet the research , conducted in 2011 focused only on 2004. What does that tell you?
      That the evidence afterwards does’nt look good for the propaganda the research sought to do?

      1. This research is unique in that data before a “natural” event were available for analysis. Most natural events do not provide such pre-event data to sufficiently document the change following a natural event, in this case the passing of the Massachusetts same-sex marriage law.

        The study found “a significant decrease in medical care visits (13%) and costs (10%) and in mental health care visits (13%) and expenditures (14%).” The lead researcher, Mark Hatzenbuehler at Columbia University, suggested that one possible explanation is a reduced level of stressors that sexual minority men experience when institutionalized forms of stigma are eliminated, such as the passing of the same-sex marriage law. These stressors are associated with hypertension, depression, and adjustment disorders, all of which showed reductions in frequency of associated medical visits and treatment costs after the marriage law passed.

        “These findings suggest that marriage equality may produce broad public health

        1. benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions in gay and bisexual men,” according to Dr. Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, lead author of the study.

          Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been stigmatized for decades and have been discriminated against professionally, socially, and medically. They have struggled with limited access to health care and health insurance, which puts them at increased risk for the negative psychological consequences related to these stressors, such as depression, anxiety, fear, and substance use. Because of these restrictions, LGBT individuals are impacted financially and emotionally. When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, the economic and health consequences for the LGBT community were unknown. Hatzenbuehler used this population cohort to assess their financial expenditures and emotional and physical health in the 12 months prior to and 12 months after the law was passed.

          Given when the study was carried out – its

        2. enitrely reasonable and appropriate to consider the use of records and data for 12 months prior and 12 months after – making the data more easy to validate and verify.

          Kens claims are clutching at straws.

          1. simple response. If you reasoning is correct, then for the research to be valid, it has to be compared to the results of the first 12 months when heterosexual marriages were first allowed!

          2. No, for it to be valid – it has to compare before marriage being legal and after – which it does.

      2. Using Ken’s logic we must prevent smokers from getting married. We must also stop people with tattoos getting married. Leviticus prohibits tattoos and therefore anyone with a tattoo marrying would destroy the institution of marriage.

      3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2012, 4:27pm

        er, Ken… if marriage is a stabilising influence on straight couples then isn’t it hypocritical to say it isn’t for others?

        Wouldn’t it be better to have a fairer system to encourage a stable society or do you just prefer to stereotype all Gay people?

  2. One of the known benefits of establishing the legal recognition of samesex partnerships is that it would promote a culture of responsibility and commitment among homosexuals. A specific implication of this claim is that “gay marriage” will reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Prof Dee of the University of Virginia carried out evaluations based on country-level panel data from Europe, where nations began introducing national recognition of same-sex partnerships in 1989. The results suggest that these gay-marriage laws led to statistically significant reductions in syphilis rates. There were also reductions in gonorrhea and HIV (although less significant falls than in syphilis).

    1. Really? Maybe you should tell that to the Dutch!1

      1. Which bit would the Dutch disagree with?

        Can you demonstrate the effects on syphilis and gonorrhea as described by Elaine are not experienced in Holland?

  3. I would argue that a cessation of all state funding to religious schools would have a greater impact on the nation’s sexual health.

    I think that it is during one’s teenage years (before one can legally marry) the messages of hatred and homophobia are absorbed by younger LGBT people.

    Marriage equality will be a step in the right direction, but the removal of tax emempt status to businesses like the catholic cult and the cult of England, and the cessation of all state funding to such institutions will be of an even bigger benefit.

  4. Really? Tell that to the Dutch!
    HIV infections among gay men in Netherlands hit a record last year – ten years after the legalization of gay marriage!

    There is a huge difference between wishful thinking and statistics

    1. Indeed there is a huge difference between facts and rhetoric – perhaps you should learn the difference!

      The Dutch Institute of Public Health state in relation to HIV:
      “Until 2000, the most frequently reported transmission route for HIV infection was male-to-male sexual contact. Thereafter, the absolute number of HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals increased up to the same level as MSM. In 2004, however, the absolute number of HIV diagnoses among MSM stabilised and the number of diagnoses among heterosexuals exceeded that of MSM. In 2005, 52% of the HIV infections were diagnosed among heterosexuals. MSM accounted for 39% of new diagnoses in 2005 and only one percent of the HIV infections were diagnosed in IDU.”

      HIV is not the only STI. There is signiciant evidence that syphilis decreases post same sex marriage in the MSM population.

      1. Your data is outdated.

        1. Do you still beat your wife Ken?

        2. Says Ken who on another thread quoted a comment by Peter Tatchell 11 years ago and tried to pass it off as his current opinion – when there is masses of evidence to prove this is not true.

          Sorry, Ken but if you are going to question the nature of someones evidence being “in date”, then you have to adopt similar tactics with your own “evidence”.

        3. Figures from 2005 are relatively current!

          1. ..More current than figures from 2010 which I have copiously provided and still able and ready to provide more ?

          2. As current as your quotes from pre 2001, Ken?

          3. The Dutch have done very little research into the area you are seeking to address, and indeed that research that has been carried out recogises the strong limitations on that research and that further evidence is required before coming to a firm conclusion.

          4. “ready to provide more”

            How about you provide the evidence that

            the repeal of DADT lead to an increase in US military suicide?

            The ASA confirmed that the 70% figure produced by ComRes/Catholic Voices was credible to be used to encourage Governement to kick SSM proposals into the long grass when even Catholic Voices agreed their figure went against other polls on the subject

            Angela Merkel stated that SSM was in any way responsible for Spain’s current economic situation

            All of which you have tried to claim on Pink News. And you can hold off the Obama reply because nobody on PN has tried to claim he said anything of the sort. If you really have an issue with this I suggest you take it up with those who actually claimed he did say that if he indeed did not.

            So how about it Kennyboy. Care to provide evidence for THESE claims?

          5. I wouldn’t touch “Facts About Youth” with a barge pole – from a position of bias the website and sources REEK of ingrained social negativity towards homosexuality and the LGBT community – not to mention one of their all so wonderful “background” sources called “The Trojan Couch” has a large majority of its sources coming from books/articles published in *drumroll* the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – some of the most notoriously homophobic decades of the 21st Century which were flanked with open resentment of homosexuality within the psychiatric community and the declaration that it was a psychological disorder. Personally I wouldn’t put my hopes on anything older than a decade within the field of psychology as it isn’t exactly carved into stone and changes very rapidly and becomes out of date very quickly with the rise of new information.

        4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2012, 4:29pm

          “Your data is outdated”

          mmmm as is your attitude, Ken!!

  5. A new long-term study of Amsterdam men who have sex with men (MSM) shows the need for targeted HIV prevention messages, say researchers.

    Dr. Iralice A.V. Jansen, of the Public Health Service of Amsterdam, and colleagues followed 1,642 MSM for up to 25 years. The team found that from 1984 to 1988, the percentage of men who reported unprotected anal sex in the last six months declined from 78 percent to 33 percent. The rate slowly ticked up to 38 percent in 1995; by 2009, it had reached 55 percent.

    1. Indeed there are needs to target LGBT people

      There are also significant needs to target young heterosexuals.

      Neither of these are a reason to deny equal marriage and celebrate the health, society and family benefits this brings.

  6. Nearly 850 gay men in the Netherlands have been diagnosed with HIV in the past year. That number is higher than during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the Netherlands HIV Monitoring Foundation (SHM) reports.

    SHM director Frank de Wolf says he is shocked by the new figures, which he believes show that HIV prevention is still a major issue. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people in the Netherlands are not aware they have been infected. Mr De Wolf argues that educational campaigns advising prevention through the use of condoms, changing risky behaviour and HIV testing should be directed primarily at this group.

    1. If you look deeper into the figures – they are predominantly among immigrant populations in the Netherlands and thus extrapolation of these figures to compare to the entire Dutch population is irresponsible.

      1. seriously? Can you point to where it was ‘clearly and unambiguously’ stated so in the figures?

      2. By the way,, don’t you think that trying to blame the HIV rate on immigrants is BIGOTed?

        1. Don’t you think trying to lie about HIV rates in LGBT people is BIGOTed?

          I prefer dealing in facts – and the I am quoting the facts from the Public Health department in the Netherlands. I am pointing out your sophistry is simplistic and wrong. Your only response is to call me bigoted – sophistry and disappointing.

    2. The population of The Netherlands has increased by 18% since 1980 – wouldn’t that affect the statistics you so gleefully quote?

      1. He’s a troll – one must not try to reason with trolls.

      2. No. The statistics are also presented in percentages and it speaks for itself.

        1. However, they do not take into account the clinical scenarios relevant to an immigrant population and your correlaries are disingenuous

  7. he rate of new HIV infections among gay men in Amsterdam has increased steadily since the introduction of effective antiretroviral therapy, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS.

    Receptive unprotected anal sex, a larger number of partners and recent infection with gonorrhoea were all associated with an increased risk of infection with HIV. Most of the infections were acquired from casual partners, but the researchers also found evidence of transmissions within relationships.

  8. Ultimately, equal marriage and a more accepting society will lead to improved mental health for gay people. This is turn will make personal relationships more stable and happy and will benefit everyone.

    1. Tell that to the Dutch!

      1. The Netherlands has a lower HIV / STI / teenage pregnancy rate than the UK.

        I hardly think the UK is in a position to be lecturing them.

      2. Regardless of your figures, Ken

        The fact is that much research shows an improvement in both physical and psychological health in LGBT people in nations where there is equal marriage.

        The events of HIV in one nation do not impact on whether civil rights should be enjoyed in another. Interesting reading though it is.

        The article does not present itself as suggesting that health benefits should be a reason for equal marriage – but nonetheless are a good factor in improving society.

        Nonetheless, civil rights will be improved when the UK government introduce fairness and equality in marriage which benefits society, inteogrity, and family life.

  9. It is surely time for religious faith to be classified as a mental illness. If would then be possible to refer people like Ken for treatment.

  10. The denial of marriage rights to same sex couples is a form of discrimination that perpetuates stigma and contributes to stress. Minority stress is associated with a variety of physical and
    mental health problems.

    “The marriage ban works a deep and scarring hardship on a very real segment of the community for no rational reason . . . . The absence of any reasonable relationship between, on the one hand,
    an absolute disqualification of same-sex couples who wish to
    enter into civil marriage and, on the other, protection of public health, safety, or general welfare, suggests that the marriage restriction is rooted in persistent prejudices against persons who are (or who are believed to be) homosexual”
    Massachussets Supreme Court

    Perceived discrimination is linked to a decreased sense of personal growth, diminished
    environmental mastery, and lowered self-acceptance. Among lesbians and gay men, sexual orientation stigma and discrimination are associated with decreased quality of life

    1. “Results showed that minority stress is also related to mental health of Dutch LGBs. Participants with a higher level of internalized homonegativity and those who more often encountered negative reactions from other people on their same-sex sexual attraction reported more mental health problems. Such negative reactions from others, however, had a stronger link with mental health among lesbian/gay than among bisexual participants. Openness about one’s sexual orientation was related to better mental health among sexual minority women, but not among their male counterparts”

      This is Netherlands after years of gay marriage

      1. However, when you read their entire review – rather than just the abstract – they do state (and part of this is in the abstract) that “studies focusing on sex or sexual orientation differences in level of minority stress and its impact on mental health are scarce … this may invalidate this particular study (in whole or part) dependent on further research. US studies are much more advanced in this area than any other part of the world. This study does pose strong questions that require further examination – and it seems likely that there remains psychological impact on LGBT people, across all segments, resulting from stress arising from discriminatory practice”

    2. and increased rates of psychological distress and mood and anxiety disorders.

      Marriage denial to same-sex couples is often based on stereotypes and false assumptions about the sexual promiscuity of gay men and lesbians and the view that homosexuality is a sin or a disease that can be altered or cured. Many studies contradicted these assumptions. The research indicates that 40-60% of gay men and 45-80% of lesbians are in committed long-term
      relationships at any given time, and many lesbians and gay men have expressed the desire to marry if and when same-sex marriage becomes legal. All major mental health organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, reject the notion that homosexuality is a mental disorder and oppose “therapies” that purport to change sexual orientation, as this theory contradicts a large body of scientific research and has been shown to be based not on fact but on opinion, faith, or prejudice.

    3. “The results showed that bisexual women and bi- and homosexual men had more often experienced sexual coercion and reported a higher need for sexual health care than their heterosexual counterparts. Both general determinants (e.g., a higher number of sexual partners or being single) and LGB-specific factors (e.g., internalized homonegativity or negative social reactions related to sexual orientation) were associated with different aspects of sexual health. Interventions aimed at improving the sexual health of LGB individuals should focus on general risk factors, as well as on LGB-specific stressors. Methodological limitations of the study and implications for further research are discussed.”

      1. Beige.

        I think I’ll paint the ceiling beige.

  11. Ken is a troll – stop replying to him.

    Civil marriage equality is a completely separate issue from HIV / STI infection rates.

    1. Really? but you just did reply to Ken!

      1. Ken – the wife-beater?

        I believe I did.

    2. Its important we do not let his lies go unchallenged

  12. Has your wife removed the restraining order she took out against you Ken?

  13. For F@Cks Sake Shut up you whinging queens!!!

    It’s simple – Self respect and self worth
    equal – lowering risk & Safer sex

    Gay Marriage and civil partnership –
    result in – ;Why go out for burger, when there is steak at home’

    All your – ‘Netherlands says this’ – ‘statistics say that’ – blah blah blah!

    Equality is what this debate is about – end of!

  14. This is a study written on behalf of or by the American College of Paediatricians. A discredited organisation linked to hate groups.

    Some anti-gay ideologues cite the American College of Pediatricians’ opposition to same-sex parenting as if the organization were a legitimate professional body. In fact, the so-called college is a tiny breakaway faction of the similarly named, 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics that requires, as a condition of membership, that joiners “hold true to the group’s core beliefs … that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children.” The group’s 2010 publication Facts About Youth was described by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association as non-factual. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, was one of several legitimate researchers who said Facts misrepresented their findings. “Its disturbing to me to

    1. to see special interest groups distort my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality,” he wrote. “The information they present is misleading and incorrect.”

    2. This was in response to a dodgy comment from Ken – now thankfully deleted

  15. Support from solicitors
    The Law Society supports government proposals to enable all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony

  16. I find it interesting that the sources you use for your information are connected to NARTH, a known Anti-Gay organization trying to use psuedo-science and “information” pout together by un-accredited research facilities that no reputable orgamization would use. Stick your BS where it will make you happiest, Ken…up your own “end result”!

    1. Pardon my misspellings. Anger makes it hard to keep my hands from shaking.

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