A recent report shows that teen suicide rates dropped when marriage equality became the law of the land. Further, it showed that in states that enacted marriage equality before the Supreme Court decision, teen suicide rates dropped.
Coincidence? I don’t think so. Statistics have shown for long time that the rate of teens attempting suicide is much higher among LGBTQ teens and even higher among transgender teens. Even with supportive parents, when a teen is bombarded with negative messages about who they are, it is bound to have an impact. And when they don’t have supportive parents, their rate of attempted suicide is 8 times higher than non LGBTQ teens.
When marriage equality became the law of the land, teens heard the message loud and clear. We, LGBTQ teens, have the right to love and happiness, the same as anyone else.
For me, that raises the question of the motives of those who want to turn back the clock and take away those rights. They claim it impinges on their religious freedom. I don’t see how that is true. Marriage is a civil right, not a religious right. If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t have one. That is your right and your religious freedom.
Do these people care one way or the other about the mental health and the safety of these vulnerable teens who just happen to be LGBTQ? I fear for some, they feel LGBTQ teens are better off dead than LGBTQ. That angers me in ways I cannot even begin to express. These are the same people who fight for the right of an unborn fetus to live. They will fight against abortion in even the earliest stages of pregnancy when a fetus is not even viable but don’t care about the lives of young LGBTQ kids. Where is the consistency in that? Is not all life precious?
I fought for marriage equality and I will fight for that right to continue. And I will fight for equal rights for all our LGBTQ kids – today and every day.