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PACFA President makes Marriage Equality Statement

The impact of marriage equality and marriage denial on the health of LGBTIQ people:

A statement from Dr Di Stow
President of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)

Counselling and psychotherapy are aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all members of the community, including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer/questioning (LGBTIQ) community.

PACFA is committed to the principles in PACFA’s Code of Ethics. The Code states that counsellors and psychotherapists value and respect the diversity of clients, which reflects the diversity of the Australian community. We do not discriminate against clients on the grounds of their lifestyle, gender, age, ability, culture, religion or sexual identity. We respect the human rights of clients and follow accepted human rights standards in the services we provide and in the way we communicate. We respond to and treat clients as fully and equally human for who they are, accepting without judgement all forms of human diversity.

Relationships are of central importance for the wellbeing of children, adults, couples, families and communities. It is important to recognise the right of every person to form a supportive relationship with the partner of their choice, regardless of sexual or gender identity.

In the Australian society, members of the LGBTIQ community are often subject to stigmatisation and discrimination based on their gender or sexual identity. This should not be the case under Australian law. By being denied the right to marry, LGBTIQ people are denied access to the same rights, privileges, responsibilities and institutions as the rest of the Australian community.

PACFA acknowledges there are diverse views on the issue of marriage equality and the impact of marriage denial, and as PACFA President I make this personal statement in support of the LGBTIQ community’s mental health and wellbeing.

Download the full PACFA President’s Statement