Positive Impact Of Marriage Equality On Young People Is ‘Common Sense’

Marriage equality advocates have welcomed a new report from the United States which found that the legalisation of same-sex marriage has had a resoundingly positive impact on the mental health of young people – particularly those in the LGBTIQ community.

The study analysed data collected between 2004 and 2015, comparing US states that had passed marriage equality with states that hadn’t enacted legalisation. According to the data, states with marriage equality saw a 7% reduction in suicide attempts among all high school students – with a staggering 14% reduction in attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual young people.

Director of The Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, says the report reiterates the “positive repercussions of legal change.”

“Most of us are strong and resilient people, because we’ve had to learn how to be,” he tells SameSame. “But there are those in our community who are more marginalised and haven’t had the positive experiences.”

“There’s no doubt that inclusion is a good thing for everyone and has a positive impact on the mental health of those currently excluded from the same aspirations as some members of the family.”

“This research shows what all of us, all Australians, know to be true in our hearts. When you treat people with dignity and respect they have better mental health and wellbeing outcomes.”

“It’s great to have research to back that up.”

Brady says that the impact marriage equality had on his native Ireland was profound and immediate.

“The place that LGBTIQ people feel they have in society and even within their families has profoundly changed. This is one of the many benefits that comes from marriage equality at no cost to anybody else in society.”