Survey methodology was used to obtain responses from people across the country, providing a more representative sample of the larger national LGB population than would be feasible via in-person interviewing methods.
We extracted our outcome data for the month period before and after the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on November 18, Qualitative results will be discussed first, followed by quantitative results. However, men in our sample were higher educated e. In addition, submitting policies to careful empirical testing is often hampered by ethical concerns e.
However, their written responses indicated higher levels of vulnerability to legal and social situations and reported finding comfort in the new federal benefits extended to them.
Overall assessment. Top of page. The purpose of this study was to capture the essence of the lived experiences of same-sex couples during this unique and fleeting time period, as a significant event in the marriage equality movement was taking effect.
Accumulating evidence indicates that policy-level interventions can improve the health of populations, 3—6 but only recently have researchers begun to evaluate the health consequences of same-sex marriage policies for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.
About time! Pelts, M. The numbers of people in the state category analyses were very small in some groups. This study attempted to ascertain a correlational relationship between variables only, as many confounding variables precluded assessing for a causal relationship, and further analysis was beyond the scope and intention of this study.
Furthermore, trends in health care costs in Massachusetts increased during the study period, 34 whereas we found evidence for decreased expenditures. O'Cleirigh supervised the analyses. One potential pathway through which policies may affect the frequency of both medical and mental health care use among sexual minority men is via decreased exposure to status-based stressors, a well-documented risk factor for poor physical and mental health among members of socially disadvantaged groups, 18—21 including sexual minorities.
We examined billing records to identify the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision ICD-9 , 29 codes that medical and mental health care providers charged after each visit, which were summed for each patient who visited the clinic at least once during the 12 months before and after same-sex marriage was legalized.