Suicide rates fall after gay marriage legalised in Sweden and Denmark

Life is hard when you are either an outcast or outlaw.  In the 1970s after I had SRS I lived in Los Angeles.  At first I was friends with a lot of sister, but I saw how they were very self destructive and kamikaze in their way of life  (Lots of hard drug abuse and high risk behavior.0

I really didn’t fit in.  I’m a bookworm and have derived great pleasure from taking classes and studying new things.  I assimilated into the feminist and lesbian feminist scene.

My family disowned me and I drank to ease the pain, the loneliness was a killer.

When I got together with Tina, nearly 20 years ago it saved my life and helped me get sober.  Stable relationships are good for people.  Having family is good for people.

Tina and I had a commitment ceremony with a bunch of other folks outside of Big Red (The famous beautiful old Dallas Court House) in 2011.

We were officially married after Marriage Equality was legalized in 2015.  My father had died.  I reconnected with my brother and other family members.

This year I started the process of conversion to Reform Judaism.

All these things are about having social connections and support for dealing with both good times and bad.

People with these connections and support tend to live longer and have better emotional health than people lacking in these connections.

From The Guardian UK:

Rate among those in same-sex unions falls by 46%, but still ‘worryingly high’, say researchers

Thu 14 Nov 2019

Suicide rates among those in same-sex relationships have fallen significantly in both Denmark and Sweden since the legalisation of gay marriage, according to a study, although whatever their marital status, homosexual people remain more likely to take their own life.

The joint study by the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention and researchers from Stockholm University compared suicide rates for people in same-sex and heterosexual relationships in the periods 1989-2002 and 2003-16.

Denmark became the first country in the world to allow same-sex civil partnerships in 1989, with neighbouring Sweden following six years later. Same-sex marriage, now authorised in 28 countries, became legal in Sweden in 2009 and Denmark in 2012.

The researchers found that between the two periods, the number of suicides among people in same-sex unions fell by 46%, compared to a decline of about 28% in the number of suicides by people in heterosexual relationships.

“Although suicide rates in the general populations of Denmark and Sweden have been decreasing in recent decades, the rate for those living in same-sex marriage declined at a steeper pace, which has not been noted previously,” the study, which followed 28,000 people in same-sex partnerships for an average of 11 years, concludes.

Annette Erlangsen, the lead author, suggested that along with other gay rights legislation, same-sex marriage may have reduced feelings of social stigmatisation among some homosexual people. “Being married is protective against suicide,” she told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

But she noted that the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, still showed that more than twice as many people in same-sex marriages and unions killed themselves than those in opposite-sex marriages.

“Of course, it is positive to see that the suicide rate has almost halved. But it remains worryingly high, especially considering that the suicide rate may be higher among non-married people,” she told the Danish newspaper Information.

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