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Same-sex marriage brings a surprising drop in teen suicide

A drop in teen suicide attempts occurred following the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage. The decrease in suicide attempts was the largest among lesbian, bisexual and gay teenagers. Similar drops in suicide attempts were previously seen in states that preemptively legalized gay marriage in advance of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Researchers are not certain that there is a connection between the drop in suicide attempts and the legalization of same-sex marriage, but they feel that policymakers should consider the large-scale benefit that legal changes may have on the mental health of our nation's youth.

Among teenagers, suicide is sadly the second most common cause of death. Furthermore, social scientists indicate that gay, bisexual and lesbian teens and adults show a higher chance of suffering from suicidal tendencies.

Researchers suspect that laws that treat homosexuals more equitably could help gay teens feel hopeful about their futures. New and fairer laws could also reduce bullying, increase tolerance and help gay teens feel more accepted.

In conducting their analysis, researchers looked at over 700,000 high school students who completed a government survey about risky behaviors among youth. Among the 700,000 students surveyed, over 26,000 identified as bisexual, lesbian or gay.

Although same-sex marriage is now legal in Minnesota and the rest of the nation, there are specific legal challenges unique to gay couples that remain. As such, if you're planning to tie the knot in a same-sex marriage, you may want to speak with a family law attorney to ensure that your rights and your family's rights are fully protected in your marital union.

Source: mprnews.org, "Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal," Feb. 21, 2017

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