38ºF

Study: Legalizing same-sex marriage decreased teen suicide attempts

FILE - In this June 26, 2015 file photo, the crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court in Washington after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the U.S. A brief exchange during Supreme Court arguments in... (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

NBC – Legalizing same-sex marriage appears to have had an unexpected benefit, reducing teen suicide attempts.

A new study compared teenage suicide attempt rates among states that passed same-sex marriage laws with states that had not. This was before the passage of the federal law in 2015.

State same-sex marriage legalization was associated with a 7-percent decline in attempts among high school students.

The effect was even bigger among gay teens. Even though the teenagers had no plans to marry, researchers said the laws reduced stigma associated with sexual orientation.

The research is from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.