The marriage equality debate was an extremely difficult time for LGBT+ communities in Australia, with the number of verbal and physical assaults more than doubling during the three-month postal survey, compared the six months prior.
A survey of 9,500 LGBT+ Australians, as well as their friends and family, found that the postal survey had “some degree” of a negative impact on more than 90 percent of people.
“The response has been incredible and goes to show just how much people needed an opportunity to express how this time has affected them,” says lead researcher, Dr Saan Ecker.
“A disturbing initial finding is experiences of verbal and physical assaults more than doubled in the three months after the announcement of the postal vote compared to the six months before.
“There was also an increase in reported experiences of depression, anxiety and stress after the announcement of the vote.
‘It will take time to fully analyse this data, in particular, long-form responses, however initial results show that the debate was a highly stressful event for many LGBTIQ+ people and their allies.’says leader researcher Saan Ecker
The intensity of the debate also had an impact on the mental health of these communities, with depression, anxiety and stress increasing by more than a third.
Australia voted YES in the marriage equality survey, with 61.1 percent of people in favour of making sure that all Australians have the right to marry.
The research was conducted by the Australia Institute and the National LGBTI Health Alliance.