5 February 2013
Medical students unite worldwide for marriage equality
The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) has submitted a draft policy statement to the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), calling on governments worldwide to legalise same-sex marriage.
AMSA has the support of the national medical student associations from the United States of America and New Zealand in submitting the policy statement to the IFMSA, which represents over 1.2 million medical students across more than 100 nations.
AMSA President Mr Ben Veness said, “We reject discrimination based on gender and sexuality in all its forms.”
“Legislation marginalising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals contributes to their increased mental health risks.
“LGBTI individuals are more likely to attempt suicide and have an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders and drug addictions.
“There are no health arguments in favour of defining marriage as a legal union solely between a man and a woman.
“As medical students, we want to see every individual have the best opportunity for good health. Marriage equality will help achieve this.”
American Medical Student Association President, Dr. Elizabeth Wiley, said “We’re delighted to sign on to such an important statement with our colleagues ‘down under’. This is an important health issue and we urge all medical student groups to support us at the upcoming IFMSA.”
New Zealand Medical Students’ Association President, Mr Phillip Chao, said “We share the view that marriage equality promotes equity in health, tackles stigma and is beneficial to the well-being of a minority. We support the Australian policy.”
“Our policy forms part of a global movement for equality. Over 10 countries worldwide have legalised marriage equality and many more have draft legislation under debate, including New Zealand,” Mr Veness said.
“It’s time for the Australian Parliament to recognise that marriage equality is not only the right thing to do, but a key step in improving the mental health of a valuable minority.”
Mr Veness and other Australian medical students will be travelling to Baltimore, Maryland, next month to present their policy at the IFMSA General Assembly. AMSA passed a policy in favour of marriage equality in 2012. A copy is available from www.amsa.org.au
To view the pdf of this media release click here.