Marriage equality is a pressing issue not just in the states but worldwide. And if anything, the debate proves that no matter where in the world you go, there’s always some asshole trying to vilify the gays using pseudo-science and the Bible as their main weapons.
Australia has Jim Wallace, the head of the Australian Christian Lobby. Wallace was involved in a heated debate with Sen. Christine Milne, leader of Australia’s green party, at the University of Tasmania during which he made just really awful comments, comparing the health of smokers to the health of gay people.
Answering a question from a student on the relevance of his views, he said health statistics among the gay community were worse than those for smokers.
“I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health – which it presents when it wants more money for health – are that is has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years,” he told the audience.
“The life of smokers is reduced by something like seven to 10 years and yet we tell all our kids at school they shouldn’t smoke.”
After the debate, Mr. Wallace said the figures saddened him.
“But what I’m saying is we need to be aware that the homosexual lifestyle carries these problems and … normalising the lifestyle by the attribution of marriage, for instance, has to be considered in what it does encouraging people into it,” he said.
Mr. Wallace said legalising same-sex marriage in other countries had not reduced risk factors for gay people.
“Where gay marriage has been introduced, or civil unions, it hasn’t changed the level of suicide,” he said.
“We have to accept the unfortunate levels of suicide, the unfortunate levels of excessive drug use (are) because of the nature of the lifestyle.
“I am very sorry for that. My heart goes out to those people. But it is a fact.”
Sounds like Wallace is playing fast and loose with the words “fact” and “sorry” and “heart.” Luckily, someone not freebasing crazy has already addressed Wallace’s insensitive and asinine remarks. Rodney Croome, spokesman for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group said in a statement:
“Yes, there are health problems in parts of the gay and lesbian community, but they are caused by the prejudice of people like Mr. Wallace and the discriminatory laws he defends. Mr. Wallace’s offensive remarks show how desperate he has become, and they effectively deal the Australian Christian Lobby out of the marriage equality debate.
“The quoting of irrelevant and biased studies to stigmatise gay Australians is a low and desperate tactic that diminishes Mr. Wallace and his cause.”
Croome also noted that the ACL has a history of hate, linking gay equality to Nazis, pedophiles and the stolen generations.