ScienceDaily (June 7, 2009) — Bans on same-sex marriage can be tied to a rise in the rate of HIV infection, a new study by two Emory economists has found.
In the first study of the impact of social tolerance levels toward gays in the United States on the HIV transmission rate, the researchers estimated that a constitutional ban on gay marriage raises the rate by four cases per 100,000 people.
"We found the effects of tolerance for gays on HIV to be statistically significant and robust – they hold up under a range of empirical models," says Hugo Mialon, an assistant professor of economics.
"Laws on gay marriage are in flux and under debate," added Andrew Francis, also an assistant professor of economics, citing the recent decision by the California Supreme Court to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage. "It's a hot issue, and we are hoping that policymakers will take our findings into account."