Australian Medical Association misleading on gay marriage

Australian Medical Association misleading on gay marriage, by Greg Brown.

A former senior Australian Medical Association official has lashed out at the peak medical body’s campaign for same-sex marriage, accusing it of using false and misleading information in claiming the reform was a public health issue.

Dr Chris Middleton, a former president of the Tasmanian AMA, has joined with five AMA members in penning a 15-page report savaging the credibility of the national body’s Position Statement on Marriage Equality …

“The position statement has very little to say about medicine and was little more than a politically motivated, ideologically-driven opinion piece which is dressed up as evidence-based health policy,” Dr Middleton said. …

Dr Middleton’s report was scathing of the AMA for its “demonstrably false” claim that children raised by gay parents do not suffer poorer psychological health than children who are raised by their biological mother and father. The report also said the AMA defended this claim by refusing to acknowledge peer-reviewed research which countered its position.

“Decades of research have confirmed that children do best, on average, when raised by their married biological mother and father,” the report said.

By denying publicly that there is any such evidence of detriment to children, while admitting privately that there is, the AMA has misled the public on a crucial aspect of the marriage debate and must be held to account.”

Just like the global warming imbroglio. Peak bodies side with the bureaucrats for political and financial reasons, suppressing evidence and not asking their members what they think — all to create an impression of widespread support.

From an upcoming book:

Almost all the peak science and professional bodies publicly agree with the carbon dioxide theory of global warming. In this, finally, there truly is an overwhelming consensus.

But the ties between peak science bodies and government are usually significant: the typical body is in receipt of government funds, or seeks to influence government policy, or some in the leadership group aspire to sit on government committees or boards or get government research funds. All western governments — or more precisely their permanent governments of bureaucrats, academics, and so on — have long been committed to the theory. So it is easy to see why the leadership of a peak body would go along with the theory.

But, in nearly every case, the climate policy was decided by the leadership, not the membership. Often, the membership represented by peak science bodies has different opinions to the leadership. This has sometimes led to turmoil and even uproar. For example, the Geological Society of Australia supported the theory in 2009, but a furious membership later forced them to actually survey its members, leading to a position statement slightly skeptical of the theory in 2012. And by 2014 they had given up having any official position, because it was “too divisive.”