Emory researchers: Marriage equality bans increase HIV infections

June 12, 2009
Withholding the freedom to marry and other signs of intolerance of homosexuality can be tied to a rise in HIV infection rates, according to a new study by economists at Atlanta’s Emory University. Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, both assistant professors of economics at Emory, used mathematical models to compare HIV rates to a variety of markers of tolerance for gays, including laws and constitutional amendments banning marriage equality. As tolerance increases, HIV rates decrease, the researchers found. “Once again we see evidence that ending [marriage] exclusion improves the health of individuals and, thus, the community as a whole. It makes perfect sense that if we as a society believe that marriage brings good to people, it would be good for gay people, too,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a national organization devoted to the cause. “And now we know that the freedom to marry is not just about healthy families, it’s about families’ health.” [Link]