It’s always struck me as particularly objectionable that those opponents of equality for gays and lesbians regularly cite, as evidence for why homosexuality should be discouraged and therefore gays and lesbians discriminated against, that they often suffer from mental health problems. Because the main mental health problems suffered by gays and lesbians are a result of the discrimination on which the homophobes are insisting that we continue.
Today, Paul Martin at The Punch unpacks the lie behind the homophobes smear:
The mental and physical health of same-sex attracted people is measurably poorer than for the population generally. There are higher levels of substance abuse, depression and anxiety. Same-sex attracted people are five times more likely to have had suicidal plans and four times as likely to have attempted suicide.
These issues are not a result of same-sex attraction. All psychological evidence demonstrates that being same sex attracted is not a disorder.
Poor health outcomes are the result of the high levels of psychological distress experienced growing up surrounded by negative attitudes and behaviours to same-sex attraction.
The link with marriage equality is clear:
The link has been highlighted by the American Psychological Association which recently issued a statement citing the growing number of studies into marriage and the mental health of same-sex attracted people.
According to the statement, which was unanimously endorsed by the APA’s governing body, denying same-sex attracted people the right to marry:
a) excludes them from the many health benefits of marriage,
b) reinforces “minority stigma” against them and their families, and
c) may reduce the longevity of their relationships.
In other words, those claiming to demand discrimination against gays “for their own good” are the cause of most of the damage they cite to justify their stance.
Meanwhile, if the Prime Minister could present some kind of rational reason for her support for legislative descrimination besides the vacuous “but it would require changing the current law!”, she might be less of an object of derision and contempt.