A global meeting of medical student associations has backed marriage equality at a conference in Baltimore in what may be the first time that a global body has voted to support the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
Photo: Andrew Horne
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) has endorsed a policy statement in favor of marriage equality at its global conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
The conference voted to support a motion put forward by the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA).
AMSA president Ben Veness presented the ‘Marriage Equality and Health’ policy statement to the IFMSA General Assembly in Baltimore.
‘I congratulate the IFMSA and all its National Member Organizations for passing this policy statement,’ Veness said following the vote, ‘The meeting was very exciting, with a series of impassioned speeches, for and against, made by medical students from every continent.’
‘Most of the crowd leaped to their feet in applause as the final vote was announced, noting the significance of this step towards equality by medical students from all across the world. As far as we know, this is the first time an international representative association has come out in support of marriage equality.
‘There are no health arguments in favor of defining marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman. Marriage equality will reduce the discrimination and thus minority stress that LGBTI persons suffer.
‘Since 2001, more than 10 countries have legalized marriage equality, with many more – including New Zealand and the UK - currently debating relevant legislation.
It’s time the Australian Government took note of the international trend and legalized marriage equality.’
Veness said that AMSA believes that all communities have the right to the best attainable health and thus advocates on issues that may impact health outcomes.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) national convener Rodney Croome welcomed the move.
‘This is an important moment in the global marriage equality debate because representatives from around the world have agreed that denial of marriage equality has a profound impact on the health of same-sex attracted people and their families,’ Croome said.
‘The policy statement is also important because it highlights the growing gap between the passionate support many Australians have for this reform and the opposition to change we continue to see from our national leaders.’
The IFMSA represents medical students from more than 100 countries.