Does defending husband-wife marriage cause homosexuals to commit suicide?

San Francisco just filed a brief in the federal Proposition 8 case saying 7 million Californians who voted to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman are responsible for high rates of suicide among homosexuals. Richard Socarides thinks redefining marriage will stop homosexual suicides: "When you... show more San Francisco just filed a brief in the federal Proposition 8 case saying 7 million Californians who voted to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman are responsible for high rates of suicide among homosexuals. Richard Socarides thinks redefining marriage will stop homosexual suicides: "When you speak out for full equality now, as opposed to partial equality, or incremental equality, you send a message to everybody, including the bullies, that everyone is equal."

In 2001, homosexual teens in Massachussetts were almost four times more likely than straight teens to have attempted suicide (31 percent vs. 8 percent). In 2007 -- after four years of legalized same-sex marriage in that state -- homosexual teens were still about four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight teens (29 percent vs. 6 percent).

Other relevant statistics: Homosexual students are also more than twice as likely to report having had sexual intercourse before age 13 -- that is, to be sexually abused as children. They are three times as likely to report being the victims of dating violence, and nearly four times as likely to report forced sexual contact. A majority of homosexual teens in Massachusetts reported using illegal drugs in the past month.

Maggie Gallagher writes, "These kids need help, real help. They should not become a mere rhetorical strategy, a plaything in our adult battles. Each of these teens is a child of God. And each one deserves better from all of us that becoming a "teachable moment" in someone else's culture war."
17 answers 17