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Marriage Equality

Doctors’ views on same-sex marriage ill-informed: academic

altA leading human rights expert has criticised the opinion expressed by a group of Victorian doctors that children of heterosexual couples do better in all measures than children of same-sex couples.

Associate Professor Paula Gerber, Deputy Director of Monash University’s Castan Centre for Human Rights Law said the opinion of 22 Victorian doctors contained in a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs by a group called Doctors for the Family was not based on any credible research.

Referring to the submission, Associate Professor Gerber, who is also a Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission board member, said the children of same-sex couples are not affected negatively by their parents’ relationships.

“Adolescents living with homosexual parents function as well as, or sometimes better than, those reared by opposite-sex partners, according to an overwhelming number of rigorous academic studies,” Associate Professor Gerber said.

“This evidence includes the highly regarded National Lesbian Longitudinal Family Study, empirical research by the American Psychological Associate and a study published in the prestigious American journal Pediatrics, among others.”

Associate Professor Gerber said a peer-reviewed paper published in Pediatrics found that children who are raised by married parents, be they same-sex or opposite-sex, benefit from the legal and social status granted to their parents.

“Opposition to marriage equality has the potential to harm children being raised by loving same-sex couples, because it sends a message that their families are inferior to other families,” Associate Professor Gerber said.

“Evidence shows that gay and lesbian parents tend to be more responsive to their children, more child-oriented and more egalitarian in their sharing of the workload. These characteristics are all associated with a more positive child outcome.”

Associate Professor Gerber said she was disappointed and surprised at the statement by Doctors for the Family that same-sex marriage would normalise homosexuality and have negative health impacts through an increase in HIV and syphilis.

“I had thought that our society was beyond demonising homosexuality as something other than normal, it is disheartening to hear such views being expressed by members of the medical profession,” Associate Professor Gerber said.

“While everyone is entitled to hold and express their opinions on same-sex marriage, it is preferable that those opinions be grounded in scholarly evidenced-based research, rather than prejudices and misconceptions.”

Australia comes one step closer to Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality is reporting that over 125,000 Australians have expressed support for marriage equality through a survey conducted by the House of Representatives Social Policy and Legal Affairs committee.

Final results are expected to be published on Monday, but by Friday the 20th of April 58.1% of the 218,048 respondants had expressed support for the bill. A last minute push by advocacy groups Australian Marriage Equality, Amnesty International and GetUp could see the number of supportive respondants grow even higher.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich said the result showed how passionatey Australians support the reform.

“Marriage equality is clearly not a fringe or minority issue – it is an issue which speaks to core Australian values.”

“No other reform has ever motivated this many Australians to engage in a parliamentary inquiry.”

“Marriage equality goes to heart of the nation’s aspiration to be a fair and equal society.”

Mr Greenwich thanked the over seventy clergy from all faith backgrounds who urged their fellow Australians to write to the inquiry in support of marriage equality because of the benefit the reform will have for families and communities. (List of Clergy can be found here)

“Religious leaders are increasingly opening their hearts to this reform, and it is now time for political leaders to join them in supporting what a majority of Australians clearly and emphatically want”.

Mr Greenwich said that pro-equality submissions to the inquiry are also of very high quality with many people from across the social, religious and political spectrum taking the time to explain why their support equality.

Submissions to the House of Representatives Social Policy Committee inquiry closed Friday, April 20th.

59% of submissions to a parallel inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee were in favour of marriage equality.

Opinion polls show about 60% of Australians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Australian State of Queensland introduces Civil Unions

Civil unions are set to be introduced in Queensland with a late night session of Parliament introducing a bill to grant equality to same sex couples.

A motion that the bill be read a second time has secured majority support. Four Labor MPs ended up voting against it – Jo Ann Miller, Michael Choi, Geoff Wilson and Margaret Keech.

Independent MP for Nicklin Peter Wellington joined the majority of Labor MPs in supporting it, but all the other crossbenchers and independents voted against. The LNP voted as a bloc against it.

The vote was 47-40. A loud applause rings out in the chamber and in the public gallery.

This wekeend, the Labor Party will hold it's national conference, where full Equal Marriage rights will be debated as a policy change for the party.

Over 10,000 rally on ALP Conference over Marriage Equality

Sydney, Australia saw a massive political protest from what politicians called "real Australians" today as 10,000+ marched from Hyde Park, through Pitt Street Mall and through city streets, snaking its way to the Darling Harbour Convention Centre where the ALP Conference is being held.

Although the party, which currently holds office, successfully amended its platform to support equal marriage rights for ALL Australians, it bowed to pressure from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and the right faction of the party to have a conscience vote in Parliament. As the opposition is currently voting as a block NO on the issue, the legislation to take out the discrimination in the law would fail.

The crowds chanted "JOOOOOLIAAAA" and "shame Julia Shame" outside the conference, before key speakers, including Labor politicians and power brokers who made the platform change happen.

Doug Cameron called for "real Australians to take action and make sure that the Liberals also allow a conscience vote on the issue" he also called for all citizens to contact their federal MPs not matter what side of politics they were on, to voice their support for Equal Marriage Rights.

You can see photos from today's march and rally in our photo galleries.

SA Liberal Leader is second Coalition leader to back marriage equality

  • Written by Australian Marriage Equality
  • Category: Marriage Equality

South Australian Liberal Party Leader, Isobel Redmond, has become the second State Coalition Leader to declare support for marriage equality.

In response to support for marriage equality from SA Premier, Mike Rann, Ms Redmond has expressed her own support for the reform (details here)

Ms Redmond joins fellow conservative and Queensland Liberal National Leader, Campbell Newman, in supporting same-sex marriage (details here).

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, welcomed Ms Redmond’s support saying it shows leaders on all sides of politics are opening their hearts and minds to equality.

“Increasing support for marriage equality from conservative leaders shows this is not a political issue but a human issue”, Mr Greenwich said.

“Australians are increasingly embracing the importance of marriage equality, and it means a lot to same-sex couples and our families that conservative leaders are now sharing this view”.

Mr Greenwich said Ms Redmond joins British Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, and US Republican former Vice President, Dick Cheney, who have both recently declared support for marriage equality.

“Conservative leaders are increasingly aware marriage equality is not a political football or a wedge issue but something that is important to real families living who are simply asking for equality”.

David Cameron’s statement can be found here

Dick Cheney’s statement can be found here