BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Same-sex marriage has a positive impact on gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers. That’s according to a new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of public health.
States that legalized same-sex marriage have fewer teen suicides. The legal union between two women or two men is only possible in 37 states. A new study shows: states allowing same-sex marriage, are seeing fewer suicide attempts by lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers, compared to states without legalized same-sex marriage.
Researcher, Julia Raifman, with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says equal rights makes a difference.
“We found that there was a 7 percent reduction in adolescent suicide attempts in the general population, and a person reduction among gay lesbian and bisexual adolescents,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control reports suicide, as the second leading killer of teenagers in the U.S., behind accidental injury.
Gay, lesbian and bi-sexual teens, are five times more likely to attempt suicide.
Jabari Lyles runs the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network in Baltimore, and he says young people are aware of the policies that could affect them.
“With these laws that are passed, they prove to LGBT that this is a safe space and that I can feel more comfortable here.”
The study did not look at why the laws led resulted in lower suicide rates. Researchers, used data from the C.D.C. which does not include transgender teens in their survey.
LGBT advocates worry the recent reversal of bathroom protections for trans students, could cause fear.
“Our climate right now is very polarized, when it comes to the issue. And folks really need to educate themselves,” says Lyles.
The goal of the study is to prevent teen suicide. The researcher says struggling with sexual orientation during puberty, is one
of the reasons gay, lesbian and bi-sexual teens attempt suicide.