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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Gay suicide rate falls in Denmark and Sweden after legalization of same-sex marriage

The number of suicides among homosexual women and men has dropped by nearly half in Sweden and Denmark since the countries legalised gay marriage, a new study has shown.

Gay suicide rate falls in Denmark and Sweden after legalization of same-sex marriage
Sweden legallised gay marriuage in 2009 and Denmark 2012. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB/TT
The study, a collaboration between researchers at the Danish Institute for Suicide Prevention and Stockholm University, found that the number of suicides in the group had fallen by 46 percent between 1989-2002 and 2003-2016. 
 
“Being married is a protection against suicide,” Annette Erlangsen, who led the study at the Institute for Suicide Prevention, told Reuters. 
 
“Legalizing same-sex marriage and other supportive legislative measures – they might actually reduce stigma around sexual minorities.” 
 
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The dramatic drop in suicide among gay people compared to a drop of 28 percent among heterosexual couples. 
 
The rate of suicide was nonetheless twice as high among same-sex married people than those married to the opposite sex, reflecting a generally higher rate of suicide among LGBT+ people. 
 
“Of course it's positive that the suicide rate has nearly halved, but it remains worryingly high, particularly when one considers that the suicide rate can be higher among those who aren't married,” Erlangsen told Denmark's Information newspaper. 
 
Young LGBT+ people are at least three times as likely to attempt to commit suicide compared to hetrosexual young people, according to a 2018 meta-study drawing on research from 10 different countries. 
 
Sweden legalised gay marriage in 2009, with Denmark following after in 2012. 
 
Gay marriage is currently legal in 27 countries around the world, 16 of which are in Europe. 
 
Erlangsen’s study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, followed 28,000 people in same-sex unions over an average of 11 years. 
 
She collaborated with Gunnar Andersson at the Stockholm University Demography Unit, and  Charlotte Bjorkenstam at Stockholm's medical unisversity Karolinska Institutet. 

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Swedish lesbians wed more often than gay men

It is more common for homosexual women to get married than gay men in Sweden, according to nationwide statistics published on Friday.

Swedish lesbians wed more often than gay men

With the exception of the Stockholm County, every single county in Sweden has more female same-sex marriages or registered partnerships (sambo) than male same-sex relationships with an official seal.

The figures, taken from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Central Byrån – SCB), showed that there are 4,521 females married to other females nationwide compared to 3,646 married gay men. The odd figure is due to SCB not including foreign women in the statistics.

SEE ALSO: Top ten loud, proud and gay Swedes

Ulrika Westerlund, president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), said that the gender differences were easily explained.

“It’s quite simply more common that female couple have children,” she told the Sirén news agency. “Many get married when they have a child to protect the child legally.”

The news comes just days before Stockholm Pride Week, which is set to kick off on Tuesday and runs through to Saturday.

Gay marriage has been legal in Sweden since May 2009, making Sweden the ninth country in the world to allow same-sex marriage. The couples living together that don’t apply to officially tie the knot live in registered partnerships, according to SCB. Such partnerships have been legal in Sweden since 1995.

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