March 21, 2016

Backwards Australia Wastes 525Mil to see if LGBT deserve Equal Rights




A PLEBISCITE on marriage equality is not only a massive waste of taxpayer money but is helping perpetuate a wave of hate against gay, lesbian and transgender people.
That’s the view of marriage equality advocate Professor Kerryn Phelps who warned all this talk of a plebiscite is causing unnecessary mental distress for the LGBT community.Professor Phelps’ comments follow the release of a PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia report which found a stand-alone plebiscite, with a compulsory vote on marriage equality, could cost the Australian economy $525 million.
The report also found the impact of a plebiscite on the mental health and wellbeing of Australian citizens will exceed $20 million alone.
PwC modelling estimates further reveal that a stand-alone plebiscite will cost the taxpayer $158 million to facilitate.
This would be in addition to the $66 million for the community to fund the “for” and “against” campaigns and the $281 million in lost productivity as people take time out to vote.
However, it is the social harm being caused by the plebiscite which has Prof Phelps most concerned.
Speaking to news.com.au, Prof Phelps who was the first LGBT person to be elected as the president of the Australian Medical Association, said the report was powerful evidence to support the view that a plebiscite is dangerous from a number of points of view.
“We have already seen a hint of the type of vitriol we have seen come out of the No camp,” she said.
“It is exposing people to a hate campaign and hateful views.
Marriage equality activists and partners Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker who were married overseas.
Marriage equality activists and partners Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker who were married overseas.Source:News Corp Australia
“A small vocal minority are using the proposal to change the Marriage Act as an excuse to put forward an unfortunate and extreme view to get attention and unfortunately that doesn’t reflect the views of the majority of Australians.”
The Adjunct Professor at Sydney University in the Faculty of Medicine said she knew of several people who had been exposed to this, leading to substantial mental health anguish.
The PwC report also warns levels of social tension, discrimination, mental health issues will only rise if the plebiscite went ahead. 
Prof Phelps said Australia was the only western democracy which does not recognize same-sex marriage which made us an international embarrassment.
“We have elected our parliamentarians to represent us, with the majority of us supporting same-sex marriage,” she said.
“Yet a handful of right-wing politicians are holding the government to ransom and not allowing a free vote. It’s high time the Coalition reflected the views of the Australian people.”
Speaking about the report, PwC partner Suzi Russell-Gilford also warned of the mental health costs associated with a plebiscite.
“Arguments opposing marriage equality in the media and community forums will have an impact on mood disorders and mental health of LGBT people,” she said.
“This will be devastating for a segment of the community already more susceptible to mental health issues as a result of discrimination.”
PwC Australia was voted Australia’s top LGBT employer last year.
CEO Luke Sayers said a plebiscite would be a drain on the economy and bad for business as well as a “total waste of time and money.”

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