Poll: Do you support pharmacy’s involvement in LGBT+ rights?

Health organisations are increasingly announcing their position on LGBT+ rights as the issue gains traction in Australia… what do you think about it?

Over the weekend, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) released its Position Statement on LGBT+ rights, with AMA President Dr Michael Gannon writing to the Prime Minister and Opposition leader Bill Shorten urging a bipartisan approach to marriage equality.

PSA has also recently thrown its support behind the LGBT+ community, announcing earlier this year its intentions to be involved in next year’s Mardi Gras under the banner “Pharmacists for equality”.

CEO Dr Lance Emerson says the PSA acknowledges that discrimination has mental and physical health consequences affecting many people, including health practitioners such as pharmacists.

“Equality is a health issue, and is a right for all regardless of age, culture, gender identity, sexuality, religion or marital status,” he says.

“With the diverse nature of the pharmacy profession and the communities which pharmacists’ serve, PSA is committed to ensuring equality is achieved and pharmacists are recognised as an important part of an accessible and equitable healthcare system.”

We want to know what you think about pharmacy and LGBT+ rights.

Note: Please keep the comments section civil and respectful.

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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Wesley Williams

    This is a political issue. There are legitimate arguments on both sides.

    If you have a political point to make, kindly join a party and express your opinion. Then people can vote every few years and get on with their lives in the meantime.

    Stop politicising every other organisation and aspect of life.

  2. Brettthereluctantpharmacist

    As (once?) respected members of the community, I believe we have a moral and social responsibility to at least try and help end injustice and discrimination.
    As health professionals we should realise that this issue is causing harm to an already vulnerable section of the population.
    Marriage has long evolved past having a direct relationship to religion. Thus religious beliefs should not be used as a reason to prolong such damaging discrimination.
    A pharmacist should/would not let personal beliefs or prejudices contribute to the deleterious treatment of a patient and in my opinion, to wilfully ignore such treatment, is to contribute to the problem by proxy.
    Marriage equality is not a political issue, it is not a religious issue, it is a basic human rights issue. No individual should be discriminated against whether it be because of their religion, age, gender, gender identification or sexual orientation.
    It is unclear to me how calling for the end of discrimination and supporting the human rights of a group of individuals can be seen as anything other than a caring gesture by a group of kind-hearted, empathetic health professionals.

    If anybody doubts the impact that this and other prejudices have on members of the LGBT+ community, I invite you to read some of the stories on the ‘itgetsbetterproject’ website and if so inclined, help support the organisation. It is a tragic and unfortunate fact that many LGBT+ individuals will never make it to marrying age.

  3. PharmOwner

    While I think in this day and age it should be common sense that marriage should be an opportunity for all genders and persuasions, I fail to see how the AMA, PSA or Pharmacy Guild have any role or responsibility for promoting such legislative change. Our role as health professionals is to promote good health for all, using evidence-based therapies.

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      Continued separation of any group to access basic human rights impacts on the health of that group.

      Additionally, the issue of marriage equality is only part of the reason to participate as a peak health body…. Although perhaps one of the more visible issues to the wider community.

      • United we stand

        LGBTIQ+ have all the basic human rights in Australia. They are treated with fairness and equal opportunity just like any other minority in Australia. Marriage rights on the other hand is a totally different matter that involves a lot of political and legal discussions, ALL of which is completely unrelated to a pharmaceutical body such as PSA.

        • Andrew

          Well I guess we should be proud that we provide LGBTI ppl with the bare minimum of human rights as required by the UDHR. I disagree with your point though because according to Article 2 we don’t actually afford a section of the community equal rights (ie marriage).

          As long as the LGBTI cohort experience poorer health it is our responsibly to fix this. Structural inequality like this and all the other intangible stuff that is real and visceral but that I/we don’t understand all contribute to the problem. That is why the PSA is involved – a public health issue. The AMA got involved for the same reason.

          I respect people’s opinion on the matter but I don’t understand how someone else’s rights deprive the dissenters of anything.

  4. pagophilus

    Interesting results so far (Thursday morning). If the results are vaguely representative, it looks like the silent majority is winning the poll but the vocal minority is winning the airtime. Is this yet another example of leadership being totally out of touch with the people they are supposed to be representing?

    • Glen Swinburne

      As health professionals, it is our role to ensure the wellbeing of all. As a gay man myself, I am fully cognisant of the discrimination that can impede peoples’ access to healthcare. I have faced it myself, as have many others I know. As pharmacists, we are in a unique position to show the community that we are here for everyone.

      I am proud that PSA have taken this position.

      As Oliver Wendell Holmes said over a century ago “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving”.

      • United we stand

        I have a genuine question. Not being distasteful or anything of the kind.

        Under what circumstances would a pharmacist impede LGBTIQ+ community’s access to healthcare?

      • jason northwood

        is this the same Oliver Wendell Holmes that said “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. […] Three generations of imbeciles are enough.[30]” ?

  5. Peter Dishington

    The results show so far that opinion is nowhere near as clear cut as proponents would have us believe. The issue is highly contentious, highly divisive, highly emotional, highly politicised and PSA should stay right away from it. They don’t represent me on this issue and the poll shows that goes for around half the people responding.
    If a group of pharmacists want to go and wave a rainbow flag then go for it – just don’t pretend to represent me by adding a PSA flag.

    Sticking your head up in this debate invites flames so most people keep out of it. I am not a bigot or homophobe, I am just a supporter of traditional marriage – my marriage.
    In my 30+ years of practice I don’t believe I have ever discriminated against anyone on the basis of their sexuality, gender staus, religion, race or anything else.

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      Peter, your second last statement in this post contradicts the last statement in your post.

      • Peter Dishington

        Actually you prove my point Jarrod. I’m not sure if you’re calling me a bigot and homophobe or that my view on marriage means I have discriminated against people in my practice. Both are offensive. (See the note above about keeping comments civil and respectful). You demonstrate that you’ve made assumptions based on my opinion. I am entitled to an opinion and a voice as much as you are. How can my opinion on marriage mean that I have discriminated against anyone in my practice? I’m sick of hearing this kind of rubbish.
        The poll continues to confirm my view that the PSA should not have their (our – 35+ years membership) name attached to this.

        • Jarrod McMaugh

          You are a supporter of traditional marriage, yet you feel you don’t discriminate.

          You can’t make both statements.

          You are well within your your rights to have the opinion that only one group of people can do something (get married), but you can’t then say that you aren’t discriminating against other groups of people if you feel they shouldn’t be able to marry.

          I think the point that you have taken particular offence at is that you used the term “in my practice” – now I’m not calling in to question how you interact with your patients, but consider for a moment that “practice” in the setting of a health professional includes participation in discussions forums (public and private) …. Including AJP discussion forums.

          • Peter Dishington

            Again you prove my point. You can say what you like on this forum but I can’t. Is anyone moderating this forum? This is a personal attack on my professionalism based on zero knowledge of me as a person.

          • Jarrod McMaugh

            Peter, I’m only pointing out that you contradicted yourself.

            I’m not trying to limit your right to speak your mind, or silence your opinion. I also haven’t called in to question your professionalism… you were the one who made it part of the discussion.

            What I am trying to highlight in my initial response to you is that it is incongruous for any individual to say “I do not discriminate” while at the same time voicing an opinion that is in fact discriminatory.

            You are entitled to you opinion, and I wouldn’t try to change it one way or the other. You aren’t entitled, though, to make a statement of fact that is clearly incorrect.

            I will point out yet again that I am not implying that this one contradiction is a reflection of your professionalism – I think it would be unreasonable for anyone to judge that based on a single statement…. just as it is unreasonable to believe that this is what I have said here.

  6. Tom

    Do not use the image of our profession for gaining political power and appeal to a certain group of people.

    The pharmacy as a profession is not yours and we didnt allow you to speak on our behalf and represent our point of view.

    If you want to support whatever cause you want go ahead and do it but say that this stance only represents the views of your organisation and not the profession.

    Don’t forget that we the pharmacists didnt vote you (PSA) as a representing body for us and that you received this title from the government for reasosns oblivious to anybody.

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      Ironically, PSA have just had elections for the representative state branch members….

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