Smoking healthier than gay marriage, says Christian leader

Gay marriage campaigners call for head of Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, to apologize for homophobic comments

Smoking healthier than gay marriage, says Christian leader
05 September 2012

A Christian leader in Australia claims smoking is a healthier lifestyle than gay marriage.

Jim Wallace, head of the Australian Christian Lobby, told the audience at a debate on marriage equality today (5 September), that statistics showed gay people were less healthy than 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,’ Wallace said at the discussion with Greens leader Christine Milne at the University of Tasmania.

‘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.’

He added that people should be aware of the ‘problems’ which come with living as a homosexual and warned of the consequences of same-sex marriage in ‘encouraging’ people to be gay.

‘Where gay marriage has been introduced, or civil unions, it hasn’t changed the level of suicide,’ Wallace said on how same-sex partnerships around the world hasn’t reduced the dangers of being gay.

‘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.’

However, Senator Milne responded by claiming discrimination is the root cause of health problems in the gay community.

‘What I know is that the mental health issues for young gay people particularly are certainly increased when discrimination occurs,’ reported The Age newspaper.

After she accused the ACL of homophobia, Wallace fought back claiming the Greens cared more about trees than children and blasted gay activists for ‘bullying’ over the issue of gay marriage.

Marriage equality advocates have called on Wallace to apologize for his comments.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said: ‘Jim Wallace has made it clear that the Christian Lobby is basing their campaign against equality on fear rather than facts.

‘To salvage what limited creditably he has left, Mr Wallace should apologize for the damage that such extreme comments would have on vulnerable gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people.’

Mr Greenwich said the Prime Minister should seriously reconsider giving the key note address at the Australian Christian Lobby conference in October.

‘For the sake of the many proud LGBTI members of the Labor Party, the Prime Minister should seriously reconsider giving this increasingly extreme group any credibility’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Anderson Cooper defends Beyoncé's lip-sync

Gay CNN host says: 'This is Beyoncé's world, and we're all just living in it'
No thumbnail available

Retired professional Irish hurler Connor Cusack comes out

Irish hurler Connor Cusack has followed his gay athlete brother Donal Og Cusack in coming out about his relationships with other men – though he says his relationships with women have been sincere and genuine
No thumbnail available

Justice serves in Swedish trans rape case

Rapist of trans woman convicted in appeals court
No thumbnail available

Gays would be executed in ideal world, says UK Islamic leader

Chairman of Luton Islamic Centre in Britain tells BBC Radio an ‘ideal world’ would see homosexuality punished with death
No thumbnail available

Teen quits youth police job after anti-gay tweets

Politicians had called for the Britain's first youth police and crime commissioner to be fired and the position scrapped
No thumbnail available

Dyke March to recall Suffragettes in London march

The lesbian pride march returns to the UK with a route remembering the Suffragette movement
No thumbnail available

Republican Paul Ryan now says he’s ok with gay adoption

2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has announced he is comfortable with the idea of gay people adopting children despite voting against it in the past and his opposition to same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Teen girls 'convert to Islam', say ‘Justin Bieber is gay’ in Arabic, for free tickets

A Norwegian comedy show tricked five young fans of the Canadian heartthrob to win free tickets for his concert in Oslo
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay US pastor convicted for masturbating in park

Extremist Christian preacher in New Orleans found guilty of obscenity after admitting to pleasuring himself in public for a 'thrill'
No thumbnail available

Madonna's message for Dolce & Gabbana: 'Think before you speak'

'There is nothing synthetic about a soul So how can we dismiss IVF and surrogacy?'