The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists supports marriage equality and welcomes the majority yes vote in the voluntary postal survey.
“The RANZCP anticipates improved mental health outcomes for same-sex attracted people and their children with appropriate legislative change. We look forward to marriage equality in Australia in the not too distant future,” said RANZCP President Dr Kym Jenkins.
In 2016 the College released its Position Statement 83 Recognising and addressing the mental health needs of the LBGTI population.
The key points of this position statement are:
- The RANZCP supports marriage equality based on the evidence that legislative inequality has a significant and deleterious impact on mental health.
- The RANZCP recognises the positive link between improved health outcomes and legislative change in favor of marriage equality, for both same-sex attracted people and their children.
- The RANZCP emphasises the importance of ongoing, respectful dialogue with those on both sides of the marriage equality debate.
- People who identify as LGBTI are at increased risk of exposure to institutionalised and interpersonal discrimination and marginalisation which in turn increases vulnerability to mental illness and psychological distress.
- The mental health outcomes for the LBGTI populations of Australia and New Zealand are amongst the lowest of any demographic.
- Same-sex attracted people are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide, twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders and three times more likely to experience affective disorders compared with the broader population.