New research reveals how the marriage equality debate damaged LGBT Australians’ mental health

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01/24/2019

Although Australia has now achieved marriage equality, the topics of sexuality and gender identity continue to spark heated – and often discriminatory – public debates. Most recently, the issues of religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws, the Safe Schools program, and gay conversion therapy have dominated public and political discourse. New research has suggested that such divisive debates have the potential to harm the mental health of LGBT people. These findings come from our nationwide study conducted during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in 2017. The mental health of LGBT people is among the poorest in Australia. According to the most recent estimates, LGBT Australians are more likely than non-LGBT Australians to be diagnosed with a mental disorder, attempt suicide and commit acts of self-harm in their lifetimes.

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