June 3rd 2017


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Left poisons Trump's real achievements

EUTHANASIA It must be war, as truth has been the first casualty

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Dr David van Gend criticises AMA statement

GENDER POLITICS U.S. Target goes gender neutral; pays the price

GENDER POLITICS Where have all the transgenders gone?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Graceless new book takes hatchet to Cardinal Pell

CULTURAL HISTORY The prophets of eco-doom: a perfect record of failure

LAW AND SOCIETY Religion in the balance in Australia

MUSIC What's it all about?: when no amount of ado will do

CINEMA Alien: Covenant: Creature seeks Creator

BOOK REVIEW Insights for the euthanasia debate

BOOK REVIEW Assistance is an Australian strength

LETTERS

CANBERRA OBSERVED Abbott strives not to join the forgotten people

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Is Cardinal Pell just the tallest poppy of them all?

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Dr David van Gend criticises AMA statement


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, June 3, 2017

The president of Australian Marriage Forum, the highly-regarded Queensland GP, Dr David van Gend, has rejected a statement by the Australian Medical Association’s president, Dr Michael Gannon, endorsing “same-sex marriage”.

Dr David van Gend

In a letter to the AMA leadership, Dr van Gend objected to the lack of consultation with members and the clinical errors made in its statement on “same-sex marriage”.

He wrote: “I have been an AMA member since graduation, some 30 years ago. I am overseas at present but read today that Dr Phelps has prevailed at the executive level with her push for homosexual ‘marriage’.

“When was this great political and moral question – principally concerned with the wellbeing and rights of children – put to the membership?

“When was input invited on the clinical questions of the impact on a child, or the alleged relation between a lack of ‘marriage equality’ and the rate of homosexual suicide attempts?”

Dr van Gend added: “Your position is factually in error on both of these points.

“The paper says there is ‘no putative, peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that children raised in same-sex parented families suffer poorer health or psychosocial outcomes as a direct result of the sexual orientation of their parents or carers. Children of same-sex parented families do, however, experience negative psychosocial outcomes when their family is the subject of perceived stigmatisation, rejection, or homophobia’.”

Medical evidence

Dr van Gend challenged these statements, citing evidence published in peer-reviewed papers on the subject.

He said: “Of course there is ‘putative peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that children raised in same-sex parented families suffer poorer health or psychosocial outcomes as a direct result of the sexual orientation of their parents or carers’.

“Since when has the AMA seen fit to blind itself to the published evidence – for example the various papers from [Paul] Sullins (2015), or Douglas Allen, or [Mark] Regnerus or [Loren] Marks?

“On balance, it is clearly harmful to children to deprive them of one or other biological parent by a policy such as same-sex ‘marriage’.

“What has possessed the AMA to set aside its academic rigour in the face of this latest political fad?

“As to the second point, where is the randomised, representative study with a control group that shows the alleged ‘negative psychological outcomes’ relating to perceived stigmatisation?

“The only study that meets those criteria of a random, large-scale representative database with a control group is Sullins in 2015, and he found there was a decreased level of perceived bullying/stigmatisation for children of same-sex homes compared to children of opposite-sex homes.

“Why do you ignore this, and go with the small, unrepresentative, non-random sample groups beloved of the gay activists?”

Dr van Gend said that after 30 years of AMA membership, “I am ashamed that a once honourable body would abandon clinical integrity and be so indifferent to the best interests of the child in the face of political pressure.

“I am astonished at the lack of consultation with the membership on a subject that is clearly going to be of concern to many of us.”

He said: “I hope it is not too late for this policy to be given proper consultation and for the true shape of the clinical science to be considered by the AMA. Or has the AMA become an elite inner-circle for influential activists like Dr Phelps?”

To his letter, Dr van Gend attached three excerpts from his book, Stealing from a Child, that bear directly on the clinical claims made in the AMA statement.

In Chapter 4 of his book, “Social Science Speaks Out”, Dr van Gend dealt with the true shape of the evidence of harm for children of same-sex households.

He quoted from Child Trends, an American research institute, which found: “Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

He added: “We know that many tragic circumstances bring about other family structures – the death or desertion of a parent; divorce and remarriage – but we need to accept that all such structures fall short of the ideal for children.

“As adults in various domestic arrangements, we must try not to ‘take offence’ at being told that single parenting or step-parenting is, on average, ‘worse for kids’.

“We respect our many family and friends in such circumstances who do the best they can and do it well. But the fact remains that the ideal for a child, statistically speaking, is to be raised by ‘two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage’.”

Dr van Gend also provided a brief excerpt from his book on the question of depression, and one on the question of bullying/stigma.

He concluded: “I hope wiser heads will take pause and reconsider this shameful abandonment of the rights and needs of the child, and this shameful capitulation to politics over clinical truth.”




























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