Marriage Equality leads to halving of suicide rate: study
A multi-national study has found that the legalisation of same-sex marriage has reduced deaths by suicide of those in same sex relationships by almost half.
The joint study conducted by the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention and Stockholm University used data from Denmark and Sweden. The two countries legalised marriage equality in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
It compared suicide rates in the period between 1989 and 2016, and found a reduction of deaths by suicide of 46% among those in same-sex partnerships.
The researchers believe that the drop was due to reduced stigma towards same-sex relationship as a result of the legislative changes, coupled with increased improved mental health education and services.
Annette Erlangsen from the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention told Reuters that “legalising same-sex marriage and other supportive legislative measures… might actually reduce stigma around sexual minorities.”
However, the study also found that people in same-sex relationships were still more than twice as likely to take their own lives, as compared with their counterparts in opposite-sex relationships.
The report indicated that “this points to the critical need for better understanding of suicide risk and protective factors” within the LGBTI community.