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VHA supports marriage equality

Posted 22 September 2017

The Board and employees of the Victorian Healthcare Association believe marriage equality is a powerful public health strategy that reduces stigma and discrimination and improves the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and questioning people.

“The public health sector plays an integral role delivering inclusive and accessible care to all Australians irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” CEO, Tom Symondson said today.

As the peak body representing Victoria’s public health services the VHA supports its members to deliver equitable access and health outcomes - regardless of the community’s diverse or specific needs. Research indicates a disproportionate number of LGBTIQ Australians had poorer mental health outcomes and a higher risk of suicidal behaviour.

“This is attributable to stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Research conducted in the United States found LGBTIQ people living where same-sex marriage is banned were more likely than their counterparts in other states to report depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder.

“We’re concerned about potential negative health impacts of the postal vote and debate about marriage equality on the health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ community,” Mr Symondson said.

The VHA believes in inclusion, supports diversity, and recognises the rights of the LGBTIQ community and believes all Australians should have the same rights as the broader community to have their relationship recognised under the Marriage Act.

Read the full statement here

If you, or someone you know is experiencing difficulty during this time call Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 224 636 or QLife: a free, anonymous, LGBTIQ counselling and support service, 3pm-midnight daily, on 1800 184 527 or web chat qlife.org.au

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