The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) has accepted the resignation of board member Professor Kuruvilla George who was criticised for opposing same-sex marriage because it would damage “the health of our nation”.

In a statement this morning, VEOHRC chairman John Searle announced the board had accepted George’s resignation due to “time constraints and personal reasons that have emerged over recent months”.

“I and the other members of the board thank Dr George for his valuable contribution during his time of service as a board member,” Searle said.

George, also Victoria’s deputy chief psychiatrist, was one of 150 doctors to sign a Senate inquiry submission claiming recognition of same-sex marriage could potentially increase HIV rates and that children do better with a mother and a father.

Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Anna Brown said accepting George’s resignation was the right move.

“Professor George’s resignation is welcome and appropriate given the clear conflict between his public views on the supposed ‘heath risks’ of marriage equality and his duties to promote equality and non-discrimination as a board member of the Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission,” Brown told the Star Observer.

“Greater transparency and public input into future appointments is critical if these issues are to be avoided in the future.”

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