Research out of Denmark indicates that gay men in same-sex marriages are living longer than their single counterparts—but the same cannot be said of married lesbians, according to HealthDay.
A study published in The International Journal of Epidemiology claims the death rate among Danish men in same-sex partnerships has dropped significantly since the 1989, when Denmark became the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex partnerships.
The real drop began in 1996, though, and now the death rate for married gay men is below that of unmarried or divorced heterosexual men, and closer to that of heterosexual men, who see their life expectancy significantly buoyed if they tie the knot.
Factors for this decline include improved treatments for HIV and the simple benefit of having someone look after you. (Your mom won’t be around forever, you know.)
Unfortunately, this marriage perk doesn’t seem to extend to women in same-sex partnerships—their death rate has actually increased in the last decade. “Lesbians may constitute a largely unnoticed high-risk population for suicide and breast cancer, so our findings call for efforts to identify the underlying factors responsible and ensure access to basic health care in this population,” says researcher Morten Frisch.
If we needed another argument for marriage equality, helping people live longer is a pretty darn good one.