AMA (NSW) President, Prof Brad Frankum, says politicians have done the right thing in blocking the same-sex marriage plebiscite due to its discriminatory nature.
“The same-sex marriage plebiscite, if it had gone ahead, had potential for significant mental health harms for same-sex attracted people.
“The current system is discriminatory but the plebiscite would have doubled down on that discrimination.
“It had the strong potential to do more harm than good and I am glad we have managed to avoid it.
“Moreover, we don’t need a plebiscite to tell us that discrimination is wrong,” Prof Frankum said.
“There is virtually unlimited potential for how the hundreds of millions of dollars that would have gone into the plebiscite could be spent better.
“Due to the fact that it has drawn strong attention to mental health issues, I would have to suggest that looking at channelling that money into health would be a far better use for it,” Prof Frankum said.
“When advocates of same-sex marriage argue that a plebiscite would be likely to be engulfed in vitriolic debate, it is very easy to believe them.
“When same-sex couples say that it would be insulting and denigrating to their relationships, it is also very easy to believe them.
“Given the levels of discrimination that we see levelled against same-sex attracted people in Australia every day, it would be impossible to believe otherwise,” Prof Frankum said.
“Due to the discrimination faced by same-sex attracted people, homosexuals in Australia are far more likely than their heterosexual peers to suffer from mental health issues.
“They are also far more likely to attempt suicide – LGBTIQ people are up to 14 times more likely to make an attempt on their own lives.
“Adding to the discrimination same-sex attracted people face is not something that will be helpful for anyone,” Prof Frankum said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955