Marriage equality statement

ANZCA opposes all forms of discrimination. To this end, ANZCA councillors support marriage equality and have released the following statement.

ANZCA Council statement

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) considers all forms of discrimination unacceptable, with the potential to negatively impact on the health and well-being of our trainees, Fellows, staff, and the wider community. To this end, the ANZCA Council collectively supports marriage equality and urges our members, trainees and staff to give serious consideration to the health impact of ongoing discrimination.

Background information

ANZCA is opposed to discrimination in all its forms.

The first line of ANZCA’s BDSH report “Prevent, Protect, Respond” states that “ANZCA considers bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment (BDSH) to be unacceptable behaviours and is committed to ensuring that it is appropriately addressed into the future.”

The ANZCA Corporate Policy on Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment for Fellows and Trainees Acting on Behalf of the College or Undertaking College Functions also states: “The College considers bullying, discrimination and harassment unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Beyond discrimination in the workplace, the ANZCA document, Supporting Anaesthetists’ Professionalism and Performance states: “ANZCA considers all forms of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment to be unacceptable.”

ANZCA Council considers marriage inequality to be clearly discriminatory.

ANZCA is actively working to improve doctors’ health and wellbeing

Doctors who are suffering stress or depression are less effective in delivering care for their patients.

In the ANZCA Constitution, the objects of the College include to:
  • 1.1.4 advocate on any issue that affects the ability of Members to meet their responsibilities to patients and to the community; and,
  • 1.1.18 provide advice and support to Members to assist them in establishing and maintaining an appropriate work/life balance and to meet effectively the challenges of professional life.

Now in Australia and New Zealand, marriage equality is protected in law.

When there is explicit discrimination against a group of individuals which include trainees, staff, and Fellows of the College, there will be a negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. ANZCA has a responsibility to support those affected through those challenges so they can meet their responsibilities to their patients and the community.

Why has ANZCA Council taken a view?
ANZCA Council recognises and acknowledges the diversity of views and beliefs within our community. The College supports diversity, and the health and well-being of our trainees, members, and staff. The College also opposes discrimination in any form. Therefore, after careful consideration, ANZCA Council members, in their positions as leaders of our College, strongly support the need to represent these values to support marriage equality.

Other medical organisations

Marriage equality has been supported by a number of medical professional bodies:

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in Australia and New Zealand has expressed its support for marriage equality. See here.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists have published a strong detailed supportive statement related to mental health and wellbeing. See here.

"The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) reaffirms its support for marriage equality and calls on the Australian Government to remove discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) Australians in same-sex relationships and their families.” See here

CICM Board 
“The College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand opposes all forms of discrimination. Consistent with this principle the College supports a change in legislation in Australia to allow same-sex couples to marry.” See here

"The Board of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) is committed to supporting all Australian parents and their families. The Board affirms its support for marriage equality and calls upon the Australian Parliament to ensure equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) Australians in same-sex relationships, as well as for their families. We recognise the right of all College members to hold their own personal views on this matter and to exercise that right through their vote." See here.

Australian Medical Association
“1. It is the right of any adult and their consenting adult partner to have their relationship recognised under the Marriage Act 1961, regardless of gender….” See here.
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