- UPDATE 12 August: One week after being made public, this petition has been supported by 374 doctors including 26 Professors / Associate Professors and 6 former AMA State Presidents. The letter was delivered to the AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, on Friday 11 August. Further Australian doctors are invited to sign the petition urging for the AMA’s false and misleading statement to be retracted.
- Coverage in THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN 12-13 August 2017 – Ex-presidents demand AMA retracts support for gay marriage
Coverage from a week earlier:
- THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN 5-6 August, 2017 – AMA misleading on gay marriage
- THE BOLT REPORT 8 August, 2017
The Australian Medical Association has lent its authority to the cause of homosexual ‘marriage’ by issuing its Position Statement on Marriage Equality (May 20th 2017). This was done without consulting AMA members or the wider medical community, and now we, the undersigned medical practitioners, respond.
Our nation’s peak medical body should not publish misleading information, yet that is what happens in this Position Statement.
Of several examples, the most egregious is the assertion that there is no peer-reviewed evidence of “poorer health or psychosocial outcomes” for children raised in same-sex parented families. That is a politically potent claim and unequivocally false. We reference peer-reviewed articles that do find poorer outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples, and we also show that the AMA was aware of this evidence.
By denying publicly that there is any such evidence of detriment to children, while admitting privately that there is, the AMA has misled the public on a crucial aspect of the marriage debate and must be held to account.
To reach such a conclusion about our peak medical body is distressing for those of us who have been AMA members for most of our professional lives. It is because the AMA’s integrity matters and the best interest of the child matters that we speak out against this Position Statement.
Our critique is divided into two parts. In Part A we deal with the most serious offence in the Position Statement: the suppression of unfavourable evidence and the uncritical promotion of favourable evidence concerning consequences for children. In Part B we address three other clinical claims that are politically persuasive but clinically spurious and therefore mislead the public.
We hope that the Position Statement on Marriage Equality is a temporary aberration and does not mark the capitulation of the AMA to ‘progressive’ politics. Other professional bodies appear to have succumbed, such as the APA (American Psychological Association), whose former president Dr Nicholas Cummings wrote: “the APA has chosen ideology over science” and “advocacy for scientific and professional concerns has been usurped by agenda-driven ideologues”.
With this Position Statement on Marriage Equality, it is our conclusion that the AMA “has chosen ideology over science”.
This site is published (August 5th, 2017) with a sense of urgency, knowing that our federal politicians are poised to consider the question of redefining marriage in the coming days, either by proposing a postal plebiscite or by attempting to force a vote in Parliament.
By signing this petition, Australian doctors will join our urgent appeal to the AMA to retract their Position Statement and repair the damage it has done to this momentous public debate.