Study: Teen suicide attempts fall dramatically after same-sex marriage legalized

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Researchers analyzed data on more than 700,000 high school students and found a 14% drop in suicide attempts among gay high schoolers plus a 7% drop in other teens since same-sex marriage became legal.

More than 26,000 of those surveyed were gay, lesbian or bisexual, but not the transgender community.

The research found declines in states that passed laws allowing gays to marry before the Supreme Court made it legal nationwide. The results don’t prove there’s a connection, but researchers said policymakers should be aware of the measures’ potential benefits for youth mental health.

Stacey Rice, the executive co-director of the Q Center in Portland, said she broke out into a big smile when she heard the results of the survey.

She credits the stats to more compassion and acceptance from others.

“It shows that it’s giving those teens hope to where they don’t have to take that route of taking their own lives,” Rice said.

Suicide is the 2nd-leading cause of death for all US teens, and is much more common for gay, lesbian and bisexual kids.

Rice, who transitioned to a woman nearly 20 years ago, said there have been great advances for trans people. Lately it feels like they’re under attack.

“It could take you to some very dark places, the fact that you are having to fight for your very existence,” she told KOIN 6 News.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced he’s reversing President Obama’s guidelines to allow trans students to choose their bathrooms and locker rooms to what matches their gender identity. But opponents said it violates the safey and privacy of other students.

The White House said Trump wants to leave the decision to the states and school districts.

Rice said, “There’s not been a documented case where a transperson goes into a restroom and assaults someone, so it’s kind of a fear tactic.”

In the meantime, all they can do is remain hopeful for the future and not be afraid to show their true selves.

“Whether it’s one-on-one or however we can do that because, you know, once you get to know a person and know their struggles, no matter what it is and you kinda of like them it’s hard to demonize them.”

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s