Former Australian Prime Minister says marriage equality is conflict of children’s rights

John Howard

A former Prime Minister of Australia has claimed that legalising marriage equality would be in conflict with children’s rights.

John Howard told The Australian that children in the country would face consequences if same-sex marriage was legalised as he launched his support for the “No” campaign.

He claimed that a child should have the right to having both a mother and father in their life and by allowing marriage equality it would fail children.

“The clear evidence is that you have outcomes that are ­superior for children in the longer term if they have a mother and a father,” he said.

Howard’s strong claims came with little scientific evidence.

In fact, the Australian Medical Association and the Australia Psychological Society said that there was no scientific evidence to prove that children of heterosexual families had better outcomes.

The politician was Prime Minister when Marriage Act was changed in 2004 to define marriage as being between “a man and a woman”.

Howard added that marriage equality came with more implications and was not about a “single” right.

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

He also called for the legislation to be produced before the survey ends.

He said: “People are entitled to know there are sufficient protections for people affected by those changes and the public is entitled to know what those protections are.”

The politician added that if the country were to vote “Yes”, other Australians would be given “scant regard”.

The postal survey will go ahead after a challenge in the High Court from LGBT+ activists failed.

The survey has been strongly criticised by activists because it is not legally binding and comes at a huge cost to tax payers.

They fear that the cost will dissuade voters from voting in favour of marriage equality.

Survey forms will be mailed out by the Australia Bureau of Statistics from Tuesday, September 12.

The result of the survey will be announced on November 15, 2017.