Pharmacy groups are among health stakeholders that have welcomed today’s historic “Yes” vote on marriage equality

The Marriage Law Survey’s results were announced this morning, with 62% (7.82 million responses) of those who voted “yes”, and 38% (4.7 million responses) “no”, to the question: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Sandra Minas, president of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association, says it’s a win for mental health.

“Today Australia stood together to show that we have well and truly moved forward to reduce the stigma surrounding the LGBTQI+ community,” she told the AJP.

“This should begin to impact the way healthcare is delivered as well as the mental health issues that have previously arisen due to discrimination.

“It is the first step to improved healthcare and mental health, where equality for everyone is the standard.”

PSA Acting National President Michelle Lynch says: “In October, PSA released a position statement on marriage equality, highlighting that equality is a health issue and is a right for all Australians, irrespective of age, culture, religion, sexuality or gender identity.

“PSA supports marriage equality, in recognition of the link between improved health outcomes for LGBTIQ people and this type of legislative change.

“We are proud to join with many other peak health organisations in Australia that support marriage equality.”

Pharmacists and other stakeholders also took to Twitter to celebrate the result.

Dr Michael Gannon, president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), says that it is time to “end the discrimination and lift the health burden from our LGBTIQ population”.

“Along with the majority of Australians, as shown by today’s survey result, the AMA believes that two loving adults should be able to have their relationship formally recognised,” he said.

“This is not a debate about same-sex parenting or religious freedom or the school curriculum—it is about ending a form of discrimination.

“There are evidence-based health implications arising from discrimination. Discrimination has a severe, damaging impact on mental and physiological health outcomes.

“People who identify as LGBTIQ experience substantially poorer mental and physiological health outcomes than the broader population.

“They are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviours such as illicit drug use or alcohol abuse, and have the highest rates of suicidality of any population group in Australia.

“LGBTIQ Australians are our doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians, police officers, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and they deserve the same rights as every other person.”

Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, urged politicians not to “water down” anti-discrimination protections.

“To do so will only replace one form of marginalisation of LGBTIQ people—the right to marry—with another,” she said.