It is now known that Professor Kuruvilla George has resigned his position with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission after calls in the last few days by gay activists for him to quit. Professor George is a signatory to the Senate submission by Doctors for the Family outlining health consequences of changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage.
There may have been other contributing factors to the resignation but it is disturbing that it has happened in association with these calls.
Professor George is just one of a group of doctors concerned enough to speak up for the defence of marriage and that children have the right to be raised by their biological parents, that is, with a mother and a father.
We acknowledge that for many children this right is not fulfilled and our role as doctors is to support such families and children. But we should not tamper with the ideal just because it sometimes falls down. It is the role of the state to uphold marriage as the foundation of society, the right to procreate and have children as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: the right for "men and women of full age… to marry and to found a family".
It is disappointing how many interpret our defence of marriage as being an attack on homosexuals. It is marriage that is being attacked and we are simply rising to its defence. In return we are being attacked with abusive language as being homophobic and – ironically – accusations of "hate speech".
We realise these attacks probably only come from a section of the gay community, that part which is vehemently opposed to our right to be heard and any freedom we have to teach our children our values on marriage and family. They see this as a condemnation of their lifestyle and they want to overcome this by ensuring acceptance of homosexuality in schools and charging us with "hate speech" if we dare to say what we believe.
By forcing a polarisation within our community this latter group has tragically increased the feeling of non-acceptance by those that simply want to live their lives in peace and respectability and who see our defence as personal attack. The gay community must shoulder any increased distress by what it is currently doing. Having achieved equality there is no need to destroy marriage as we know it.
Any doctors worth their salt have always accepted people of different beliefs and behaviours with care and compassion. That is what we do. That is who we are. Psychiatrists in particular are trained to do this well. To even suggest that Professor George cannot objectively do his job as an equal opportunity commissioner is nonsense.
The alleged statement by the Commission "As the agency responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in Victoria, the Commission sees the harmful effects that discrimination and inequality have on people and the hurt and damage caused by prejudice, vilification and damaging stereotypes," is extraordinary in its implication that Professor George is guilty of these things.
Our names have been published on Facebook and on a website with the invitation to "politely and respectfully write to them and let them know your feelings". Based on the extremely abusive language to which we have already been subjected we can only hope that any such language will be muted. Perhaps the language will speak for itself…
We are doctors. As responsible members of society we have a right and obligation to express our concerns as we have done in our submission. Others, including other doctors, may disagree with us but for us to be silent would be to fail that responsibility.
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