Follow-Up: Does Gay Marriage Prevent Gay Teen Suicide?


Last Friday NOM Chairman Maggie Gallagher was confronted by two representatives of "Get Equal" who repeatedly accused her of causing the deaths of gay teens (watch the video of Maggie's response here).

This is a good opportunity to repost a column Maggie published last October addressing exactly this charge:

Do I have blood on my hands?

Major gay rights groups are saying so. Each of us who opposes gay marriage, they say, is responsible for the terrible and tragic suicides of gay teens that recently hit the news.

... It's a horrific charge to levy in response to some pretty horrifying stories. Will gay marriage really reduce or prevent gay teen suicide? I felt a moral obligation to find out.

... The deeper you look [into gay teen suicide studies], the more you see kids who are generally unprotected in deeply tragic ways that make it hard to believe -- if you are really focusing on these kids' well-being -- that gay marriage is the answer.

And that's exactly what the Youth Risk Behavior data also show: In 2001, gay teens in Massachussetts were almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide (31 percent vs. 8 percent). In 2007 -- after four years of legalized gay marriage in that state -- gay teens were still about four times more likely to attempt suicide than nongay teens (29 percent vs. 6 percent).

Whether you are looking at their faces or looking at the statistics, one thing is clear: 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.

Read Maggie's full column here.