AMA urged to back marriage equality for health reasons 261



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The former president of the Australian Medical Association, Professor Kerryn Phelps, has challenged the association to throw its support behind marriage equality for “basic health reasons”

“It’s a significant mental health issue,” Professor Phelps told Medical Observer. “The AMA should back it 100%.”

She has commended a campaign launched by medical students to convince the federal health minister to support same-sex marriage.

In a letter sent to Health Minister Sussan Ley last week, the Australian Medical Students’ Association provided “clear evidence that there is a link between health and discriminatory policies”.

A US study found lesbian, gay and transgender people who lived in states where same-sex marriage was banned were significantly more likely to suffer mood disorders, abuse alcohol, and attempt suicide. Generalised anxiety disorder was a whopping 250 per cent more likely to occur in these people.

While the current president of the AMA Brian Owler says the association does not have an official position on the issue, Professor Phelps argues it has an obligation to support marriage equality due to the position statement on Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity.

“The policy actually talks about opposing any discrimination under the law,” she said.

“And opposing marriage equality is discrimination under the law. It’s pretty clear to me that the AMA has a position on it, and that position is in favour of equality.”

Professor Phelps, who married her partner Jackie Stricker at a ceremony in New York in 1998, says the Prime Minister sabotaged the push within the government for same-sex marriage to be recognised in Australia, and that the referendum was a “slippery trick… designed to fail”.

She argues that the wording of the question of a referendum could obfuscate the issue.

“The prime minister gets to basically be a one-man band working out what the wording of the question is going to be. It might ask: ‘Do you think the Commonwealth should give up the power to govern marriage?’” she says.

Had you considered the health impacts of denying same-sex couples the opportunity to be married legally? Does this change your views?start

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  1. The SSM brigade are certainly running scared about this plebiscite, they know full well the majority just do not accept the push by this small minority………and it is just plain wrong to think it could ever be the equal of a marriage between a man and a woman……bad luck Phelps!

    7 REPLY
    • You obviously never see a newspaper or hear the radio statistics overwhelmingly support gay marriage. That isn’t the issue at all it is the minority backed by Abbott refusing to follow the will of the people.

    • Let’s put it to the test…..a vote by the people…..I am willing to accept the outcome, are you?

      1 REPLY
      • I would have to accept a unanimous people vote.

    • Im willng to accept the outcome of any referendum regardless of the outcome ,because it will be a majority decision by Australia, but the real question should be will the SSM lobby accept the outcome??

    • Ron. At last poll 70% of Australians are for ssm. Re an invitation…well. She does not know me – but I will be there in spirit.

      2 REPLY
      • These so called facts about percentage of Australians support is in fact not true- as we all know – these polls are taken in a couple of major cities mostly in the E. States. A national poll would reveal the truth in numbers & I can only surmises at the reason why a referendum is not wanted by those seeking so called marriage equality ( they can marry anyway) – is can only be that they fear the results. If the numbers were for this following a referendum then I would accept it, live with it, grin & bear it.

      • These so called facts about percentage of Australians support is in fact not true- as we all know – these polls are taken in a couple of major cities mostly in the E. States. A national poll would reveal the truth in numbers & I can only surmises at the reason why a referendum is not wanted by those seeking so called marriage equality ( they can marry anyway) – is can only be that they fear the results.

    • I think 70% is a bit if a stretch, many say they support it because it is politically correct, because they think they have no say in the matter…..but now it appears that they can actually have a meaningful say, the pendulum is swinging!

  2. Yes Kerryn YES. Most of Australia want it – and it WILL happen. It will be a great day. I don’t think it is too far away.

    8 REPLY
    • no not at all, most people are not threatend by this….only a few for what ever imagined reason are scared but not a single person has said how this will effect their day to day life if someone they don’t know gets married…

    • Marisa – I say to you – just wait. You will see. I do not need to argue with you like you want. No need to be so insulting. Says quite a bit about you.

    • MOST Australians do NOT want same sex marriage. Homosexuals know this and that is why they are upset the vote will be taken to the people. Constant lobbying just makes you think it is a majority wish.

    • Ok another one who wants to argue – no argument from me. Just wait and see. I guess I can’t think or read for myself Raelene seeing you are telling me what makes me think the way I do. Funny how you know what homosexuals are upset about. Ease up – and just wait. …and ….breeeeeathe……

    • I don’t think they are arguing with you. I think they are merely expressing an opinion as you are Merren.

    • Thank you Noreen for pointing that out….not quite sure what you are trying to do.

      1 REPLY
      • I think shes trying to point out that everyone ,not only you has a right to voice their opinion without you making it sound like they are arguing,, reading your comments, your not doing yourself any favors by attacking anyone who happens to have an opinion different to yours, accept that there are differences , you expect them to accept yours

    • Most of Australia! You are making a statement, with which you have no proof of Merran. I’m not arguing with you, I’m stating a fact, no one really will no unless a plebiscite or referendum is done.

  3. 2 men or 2 women cannot have children without medical help so how can this be called equality when marriage is between a man and a woman it seems to me that it is not christian to have same sex marriage

    25 REPLY
    • Shelly, nothing was said about not ‘loving a child’ but about ‘having’ a child!’ Very different issues!

    • Vera, I applaud your conviction. However, not everyone is a Christian. That doesn’t mean they are bad people. Loving families are so important, and really, if that is 2 women, or 2 men then as long it is loving then who cares. I know of many straight marriages where abuse and no love or care is given to the children.

    • This is what the bible says about a man laying with a man – Leviticus 18:22
      “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. There are other parts of the bible that refer to “homosexuality”and it’s much to same as what is in this quote

    • It time we stopped pretending that same sex couples of either gender would love or care for children any less than anyone else. No one is asking you to change it won’t affect your life one jot so why have an issue.

    • This may not affect children when they are small but how many of these couples have teenage children?

    • Oh my God we should take the Bible as a guide to marriage? Have you people actually read or studied the Bible. The teaching as to what should be done to menstrating women will be enlighting to you.

    • Wendy Biden lots of same-sex couples have teenage children all children grow up. What exactly is your point, doesn’t seem to have one.

    • Perhaps it is worth noting that many heterosexual couples are unable to have children and require medical intervention to conceive. Does this make them any less Christians than those who can conceive. Many heterosexual couples choose not to have children. Does that make them any less Christians than those who choose to have children. How could anyone say these couples are any less legally married than other couples is beyond me. To suggest that same sex parents would love and treat their children any differently than heterosexual parents is the most unchristian comment of all.

    • ‘Tim’ ….Don’t just use old testament ‘rules for purification’ to make an argument …that was purely for the Israelites & you’ve completely taken it out of context. Very stupid to use the bible to ‘bash’ Christians!

    • So true Sheryl I wouldn’t bash my grandchildren over the head with Grimms fairytales so one would expect Christians wouldn’t bash marriage equality proponents over the head with their book of fairy tales.

    • You contradict yourself by using the bible (fairy tales were your description)to support your argument Tim…and it appears you are the assailant with a powerful tool you have no idea how to use, as you obviously havn’t read all the instructions or adhere to its proper use.

    • You have taken what Vera said and twisted it around I think. The facts are man and woman are able to create life, as nature intended. Unfortunately for some people there are problems that stand in the way. IVF was invented to help these infertile couples. Nature did not intend for same sex couples to reproduce. End of story!

    • Well said Molly Holland. I think what Vera was meaning is that all children come from a heterosexual relationships & deserve to be raised by a mum & a dad. Two females can’t produce children nor can two males produce children . Those are facts.

    • Silly arguement Molly by your own arguement if you can’t have children that’s what mature intended so IVF should be wrong for infertile heterosexual couples as well

    • Well it seems to me lots of children grow up without two parents ! And a lot of single mums and dads out there. If a child has two adults to love and protect them it does not matter what sex they are.

    • And why does it have anything to do with Christians??? I am not a Christian but feel my opinion is as important as yours. YES to same sex marriage.

  4. Rubbish.. tell us anything to justify gayz and the like.. God word is its not right and that’s it.. guess HE will have the LAST WORD on it eh?

    4 REPLY
  5. As long as they have their own ‘same sex marriage act’ and don’t infringe on or bastardise our(heterosexual) Marriage Act, I don’t really care. Otherwise is a bit fat NO from me.
    And won’t it also be a significant mental health issue for the 97% heterosexuals who have to stand in front of each other and hear and or say ‘this person” or whatever to each other, instead of man and woman, or husband and wife. 🙂

    6 REPLY
    • why do you think there would be more ‘mental issues’?? because people like you will tell the kids how wrong this is?? and that the people who went thru so very much to have them, can’t love them properly because they are 2 women or 2 men???? just like racism, children are not borning hating others who are different that the white norm….they learn hate from others…..and how would same sex marriage bastardise your marriage???

    • Them and us. Our marriage act has change many times over the years. As it should. Isn’t this just another change. Any couple can choose to say their own words. Tolerance

    • Oh dear, call me homophobic, call me intolerant, call me whatever you like. Makes no difference to me and how I feel about the whole farce.

    • Marie – then why the passion if it makes no difference to you? It is all about love and who are we to stop two people who love each other make it a legal union. Now what, then, is farcical about that? Live and let live.

  6. Clutching at straws now, Call it anything but marriage and you will get your wish but call it marriage and you wont get anything.

  7. IMO there is a large silent minority that will vote against any change to the marriage act, I believe people are getting a bit fed up with minorities changing the way of our society. the only significant change will be a spike in divorce rates.

    11 REPLY
    • You are very right! I think there are far more important things to fix in this country of ours. Same sex marriage is on the end of that list. Now they want referendum??? Do they know what a referendum costs. That money would be better utilised in schools, hospitals and fixing our hospitals and homeless and pensioners etc.

    • “they” do not want a referendum. There cannot be a referendum . It can only be a plebiscite which is a glorified opinion poll.It’s the PM who wants that. Also there are many legal differences between a marriage & a union. The differences are very significant. Please people get informed before writing incorrect information.

    • I’ve taught my children, now adults, that everyone is equal in deserving respect and needs to be treated as such. I’ve also made sure that at an early age they learned the science of homosexuality, and that just as people have different coloured skin, different features, homosexuality and heterosexuality, are just a part of the human race we you don’t get to choose any of the above it’s what you are born with. I really find it hard to understand how religion has got anything at all to do with it. I’ve recently had to explain to a young person who is aware of this that there are still adults in the world, like the PM who remain in the belief accepted 100years ago. How on earth can we be governed by such a bigot, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    • David I remember the referendum regarding introducing the Republic
      When all the noise was about that not if they will win but by how much… Well we know what happened there. I see this as the same , you are right about the silent majority, for some time social
      media has told us the majority of Australians want ssm, I am not so sure

    • Susan, I never at any stage said I was against SSM, I was just expressing my opinion on what I believe would happen ,and why, should there be a vote,

    • No Margaret it is not just the Government that wants a referendum. Many people do so also! Polls mean nothing,

  8. Yes, the habit does create extreme health issues that needs to be dealt with! Likely to cost more than all cancers combined!

  9. The English language is the language of business and diplomacy in the world and should be kept free of ambiguities.

    2 REPLY
    • We would have to qualify the type of “marriage”that we are talking about: heterosexual marriage, gay marriage, lesbian marriage, transsexual marriage, etc. Nothing wrong with Civil Unions with the same privileges and responsibilities as Marriage.

  10. Once, the marriage service included the words, to honor and obey! Now, couples write their own vows. Life is about change. Not sure how much change I personally can accept, but changes happens in spite of this, or me. Once, same gender sex was a hanging offense, so we’ve already come a very long way. I just wish a decision was made so we could move on.

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