A new study has shown what “religious right” people have feared all along: That gays live longer, healthier lives when they’re married. A study released by the American Journal of Public Health has revealed that gay men who are legally married show a significant reduction in the amount of health services they use.

The research focused around 1211 gay men who were legally married in Massachusetts over a period of 12 months after the legalization of same-sex marriage in that state. The results were about what anyone with a level head might have expected. It showed that sexual minority (read: gay) men “had a statistically significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health care visits, and mental health care costs, compared with the 12 months before the law change.”

What’s most interesting is that the it wasn’t just the married gay men that had the benefit of better health. As the study states, “These effects were not modified by partnership status, indicating that the health effect of same-sex marriage laws was similar for partnered and nonpartnered men.” This suggests that gay-positive marriage laws have the benefit of improving the self-esteem of all gays, knowing that marriage is an option for them.

A quick survey of anti-gay “statistics” promoted by hate groups like the Family Research Council, the Family Research Institute, the American Family Association and others (my stomach can only take so much) shows plenty of disturbing numbers. Naturally most of those numbers are either distorted or fabricated outright.

The most egregious of these “statistics” is out of the Family Research Institute’s beguiling document called “Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do.” The first indicator of its highly questionable nature is the author: Paul Cameron, who has been widely discredited and kicked out of every major psychiatric association because of his obsession with degrading gays. The stat in question is the claim that only 2% of all gay men will actually reach old age, and even without AIDS as a factor, gay men would reach an average of only 42 years of age. And no, I’m not going to give this excrement the dignity of a link. It’s easy to find just by entering the title into a search engine.

I love citing this particular “statistic” because of just how outlandish it is, and the fact that Cameron still has not pulled it, despite the fact that his own admitted “research” was distorted from the beginning. Alas, I digress.

The most vocal opponents of gay marriage have cited the “gays die young” figure and plenty of others showing just how horrible gay men are, and that they’re too immoral and unhealthy to be able to be married. Worse yet, if they were to get married, they’d spread more disease as the “deadly disease spreaders” they are. The Southern Poverty Law Center has done a great service by pointing out just how outlandish these hate groups really are.

This, then, is the great double standard: Wingnut hate groups are adamant that gays are unstable, unhealthy, and spread disease. Therefore, they fight tooth and nail to prevent any form of institution that would provide a genuine, viable option for gays to have stable, healthy, productive lives as married men or women. I guess they really do want to see us die young.