A recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics has caused a lot of buzz in the press. It’s more fake news. The study claims to trace the “Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts” among LGBT youth and is predictably being presented by the media as “proof” that gay ‘marriage’ saves lives.
But like much of the fake news coverage this study has generated, the study itself leads people to a fake conclusion: that somehow the enactment of same-sex ‘marriage’ results in reduced teen suicide attempts, especially for LGBT teens. In fact, the study proves nothing of the sort. Indeed, some data in the report suggest the opposite may be true in states that have had experience with same-sex marriage the longest.
We published a detailed critique of the study on the NOM blog that goes through some of the many problems with the way the study is being presented by the media. But here are the key things to keep in mind:
The report states conclusions as if they are proven facts, but they are not. The authors admit this in the body of the report with such language as “the analyses… should be interpreted with caution”… “it is unclear what drives greater rates of suicide attempts among adolescents who are sexual minorities”… and “[we] emphasize that these estimates are subject to bias.”
There is no evidence whatsoever presented establishing that same-sex ‘marriage’ causes a reduction in teen suicide attempts. This admission is buried deep in the report, “[O]ur analysis does not allow us to understand the mechanisms through which implementation of same-sex marriage policies reduced adolescent suicide attempts.”
Evidence in the report suggests that in some states with the longest experience with same-sex ‘marriage,’ teen suicide attempts in recent years may be rising, not falling.
The report also contains troubling indications of bias. For example, the authors claim that, “Policies preventing same-sex marriage constitute a form of structural stigma because they label sexual minorities as different and deny them legal, financial, health and other benefits that are associated with marriage.” This is obviously a political statement, not a statement of established scientific fact.
Even though this new report presents fake conclusions, it has been widely reported by the media and is another example of fake news. Unfortunately, we can anticipate that this report will become another weapon in the arsenal of LGBT extremists to wield against people who believe in traditional marriage, the truth of gender and the importance of protecting religious liberty.
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