At the core of ASHM’s values is a commitment to respecting cultural differences and diversity and redressing social inequities. ASHM recognise the right of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination. This includes the right to marry the partner of their choice. Exclusion from the institution of marriage has negative mental and physical health impacts and ASHM supports the campaign for marriage equality in Australia.
There are significant psychological, social and health benefits for LGBTI people when their relationships are legally and socially accepted. Findings from jurisdictions where same sex marriage has been legalised show a reduction in stigma, discrimination, public discord and social conflict. Marriage equality has shown to increase feelings of social inclusion and decrease negative mental health outcomes. All of society will benefit from a community who are happier, healthier and more included within social structures.
Globally, over twenty countries have passed laws to allow same sex marriage, including countries that are culturally similar to ours like New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, and Great Britain. These countries did so with lower support for marriage equality than Australia is seeing right now.
Marriage equality is the right thing to do. It allows everyone to be treated with equal respect and dignity. We therefore support marriage equality.