Oh Pu-lease. In a report on the Select Committee hearing the Redefinition of Marriage Bill –that the media continue to misrepresent as the “Marriage Equality Bill” (a partisan epithet – latest distortion The Press, p. 2 Jan 31)- we are expected to believe that teenage gay people are committing suicide because they cannot marry each other. That really stretches credulity. Even a lawyer maintains this, citing a study.
“The denial of equal rights lies in the background here, as parents are encouraged to see non-heterosexual as properly excluded from the normal institutions of society.” What utter manipulative rubbish.
This tired old untruth is trotted out all the time, as a justification for giving gay people everything they want, hero parades, special support groups. Basically it says, “if we don’t get what we want, we’ll kill ourselves,” or “gays are so persecuted, they are considering suicide.” That is disingenuous, distortionary and demeaning to the gay community.
If people are so insecure about being different, or about their sexuality, to the point of ending their lives, they have a mental health issue, and need support and care, not “marriage” being redefined. If the claim were true, then bisexuals and people in multiple partner relationships would also be dropping like flies. New Zealanders also have a high suicide rate; should we all get Australian citizenship?
To use suicide as an argument for same-sex marriage is reprehensible. I can only imagine if Colin Craig said this, there would be riots on the streets by liberal hand-wringers.
Treat us, the public, with respect and don’t insult our intelligence with representations like this. What utter nonsense. Young Christians are hassled, mocked, derided and picked on constantly in schools, the media, on TV, for their faith. Only this week Green MP Keith Hague said teenage Christian Grace Carroll was “outrageous” and “offensive” because she mentioned “virtue.” Black really has become White. “Christian teenagers” don’t commit suicide because they are “christian.” They soldier bravely on, shouldering the mockery and having the courage of their convictions, often to death in overseas countries. I’m sure many teenage gay people do too. So don’t insult them.
If we are to believe the Bill submitters on this point, is a solution, then, for young gay people to become Christians? Is there something in that gene that makes them immune to apparent frailties and weaknesses causing some gay people to commit suicide in exponentially disproportionate numbers? You can see how obviously ridiculous that is.
There’s no doubt that many gay teens are harassed and bullied (a study published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health suggested gay and lesbian teens get bullied two to three times more than their heterosexual peers), and some of them may take their lives because of it. But there’s little evidence that gay teens have a dramatically higher rate of suicide than heterosexual teens.
Live Science magazine explored this issue, and reported:
“That one-third of gay teens may be killing themselves is indeed a shocking statistic….But it’s not true.
Joel Best, professor and chair of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, untangled the knotty statistics behind the gay teen suicide rate in his book “Damned Lies and Statistics” (University of California Press, 2001).
Where did the number come from? “A chain of bad statistics,” explains Best in the book.”
If you would like to read their full report, go here.