Doctors in Australia say they have been ‘abused’ for opposing same-sex marriage

Doctors opposed to same-sex marriage in Australia have said they have been “smeared” and “abused” for opposing same-sex marriage.

An open letter petitioning doctors opposed to same-sex marriage to change their stance, was written to doctors against same-sex marriage by members of the profession.

It likens medical professionals opposed to same-sex marriage to historic racists.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hugs his wife Lucy following his address at the Coalition Campaign launch in Sydney on June 26, 2016.
Turnbull used the chaos from Brexit to make a pitch for Australians to re-elect his coalition government, promising stability and strong economic leadership a week out from national polls to be held on July 2. / AFP / SAEED KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The letter also states that doctors opposed to marriage equality contribute to “increased depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal behaviour”, among members of the LGBT+ community.

“To speak out against one sector of the community for wanting access to what everyone else can claim freely is discrimination in line with that historically practiced against non‐white people throughout the Western world. Let us not make the same mistakes again,” it adds.

Chris Middleton, who resigned as the Australian Medical Association’s Tasmanian president has now spoken out against the petition.

Dr Middleton says the Australian online “smeared” and “abused” him with the race argument in an “astonishing and intemperate attack”.

Read the full open letter here, which has been signed by dozens of doctors.

The High Court in Australia today unanimously decided to allow Australians to vote in a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

The postal vote was subject to a legal challenge from LGBT groups who insisted that right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was overreaching his authority.

RELATED: What the hell is going on with same-sex marriage in Australia?

A mass demonstration in favour of marriage equality is set to go ahead in London to show solidarity with LGBT Australians, ahead of a public vote on equal marriage..

The London rally will take place on Tuesday, September 12 at the Southbank’s Underbelly Festival.

Australia is preparing for a non-binding postal vote on legalising same-sex marriage.

Pending a legal challenge, ballot papers are expected to be sent out for a postal vote later this month.

The vote has been very controversial as it is going ahead without permission from Parliament, under the authority of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It is entirely unofficial and not legally binding in itself.