The kids are OK: it is discrimination not same-sex parents that harms children

Ken W Knight*, Sarah EM Stephenson*, Sue West*, Martin B Delatycki, Cheryl A Jones, Melissa H Little, George C Patton, Susan M Sawyer, S Rachel Skinner, Michelle M Telfer, Melissa Wake, Kathryn N North and Frank Oberklaid
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00943
Published online: 23 October 2017

An update on the evidence, and implications for the medical community

The current public debate about same-sex marriage raises a number of significant issues for medical professionals and researchers in Australia. Misinformation is circulating in the public domain that children and adolescents with same-sex parents are at risk of poorer health and wellbeing than other children. An increased public health risk exists as a result of homophobic campaign messages for the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) community, including a mental health risk for same-sex couples, their children, and young people who identify as LGBTIQ+.

  • Ken W Knight*1
  • Sarah EM Stephenson*1,2
  • Sue West*1,3
  • Martin B Delatycki1,4
  • Cheryl A Jones1,2
  • Melissa H Little1,2
  • George C Patton1,2
  • Susan M Sawyer1,2
  • S Rachel Skinner1,5
  • Michelle M Telfer1,2
  • Melissa Wake1,6
  • Kathryn N North1,2
  • Frank Oberklaid1,2

  • 1 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, Melbourne, VIC
  • 5 Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW
  • 6 Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ


* Joint first authors 

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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