cohealth, provider of community health and support services in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, has welcomed the result of the Marriage Equality Postal Survey announced today.
The result shows that Australians overwhelmingly support marriage equality. It is now incumbent on our Parliamentarians to reflect the views of the community. We call on the Parliament to move without delay to amend the Marriage Act to enshrine marriage equality in law, and to do so without creating any new forms of discrimination.
As we asserted at the outset, it is our view that the Marriage Equality Postal Survey was a deeply divisive and unnecessary process. It hurt our LGBTIQ clients and staff, and we saw sharp increases in demand for support to cope with the negative impacts of the campaign. However the survey also showed the incredible strength and resilience of the LGBTIQ community, and demonstrated the value that the Australian community as a whole places on equality.
As a human rights based health organisation, we know that social equity and inclusion are essential to the health and wellbeing of marginalised individuals, families and communities, whilst discrimination can have a profoundly negative effect.
We are encouraged by the attitude of the broad Australian community as demonstrated by the survey result, but remain concerned about the potential further negative impacts of stigmatisation and vilification on LGBTIQ individuals and communities as Parliament debates the required changes to the Marriage Act.
We will be alert and ready to continue offering support to our LGBTIQ clients and staff – in particular young people, children, those without support and those with mental health support needs.
And we call on our politicians to now act swiftly to bring this period of hurt and discrimination for LGBTIQ individuals and their families to an end, and to finally deliver legal equality – and improved health outcomes – for LGBTIQ families.
cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation that provides vital local health and support services including medical, dental, allied health, mental health, aged care and counselling, and many specialist health services across Melbourne’s CBD, northern and western suburbs.
cohealth responds to people’s needs by delivering a wide range of low cost, high-quality, accessible health care and support services. cohealth promotes health and wellbeing, works to prevent ill-health and better manage health conditions, and is a keen advocate for improved access to health care for all.