AMA distances itself from anti-gay marriage group
THE AMA has weighed into the gay marriage debate, rejecting as “just terrible” suggestions by some doctors that same sex unions were linked to “health consequences” such as HIV and syphilis and a health risk to society.
Victoria’s deputy chief psychiatrist, Professor Kuruvilla George, has signed a submission to a Senate inquiry into gay marriage declaring “the evidence is clear that children who grow up in a family with a mother and father do better in all parameters than children without”.
Prof George was among 22 Victorian GPs, anaesthetists, obstetricians, palliative care specialists and psychiatrists who reportedly added their names to the submission already signed by 150 members of the group calling itself “Doctors for the Family”.
The group has warned that making gay marriage legal would “normalise” homosexual behaviour and certain "health consequences" like HIV and syphilis.
AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said the claims were irresponsible and at odds with the medical evidence.
“There’s a growing body of evidence that children of gay and lesbian parents are just as happy with themselves and their own sexuality as [children of] heterosexual parents [with] no difference in development, psychological adjustment or peer popularity,” he said.
He added that it was “appalling to connect gay marriage with HIV and syphilis rates. Safe sex is important for everybody”.
The gay marriage debate is intensifying in Australia after US president Barack Obama said he supported the practice last week. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said she has no intention to legalise gay marriage.