A Sydney man said he felt “shocked and betrayed” when he found out his former doctor was one of the 150 who recently opposed same-sex marriage.

The former patient, who wished to remain anonymous, said he could not believe his Newtown GP had supported a submission against same-sex marriage for the recent Senate inquiry.

He told the Star Observer the doctor’s actions had “destroyed his basis of trust”.

In the submission, the group Doctors for the Family said same-sex marriage would “normalise” homosexual behaviour, which would have health consequences.

The submission pointed to the higher rates of HIV and syphilis in Australian same-sex attracted men compared to heterosexual men as evidence.

“I believe it is deeply concerning that [these] doctors … appear to have such a poor grasp of the research,” the former patient said.

“The submission claims that same-sex marriage will result in a ‘further normalising of homosexual behaviour through education, with all the consequences of that behaviour for our children’, which is a serious misrepresentation.

“Same-sex marriage would in fact, encourage relationships and stability and promote monogamy, which is something you would think doctors for families would wish to support.

“Gay men and women may wish to consider whether they want to share their most private details with any of these people. I will not.”

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill told the Star Observer it was concerning to have health professionals support discrimination.

“The link these doctors make between HIV and same-sex marriage is disturbing in both its inaccuracy and its bigotry,” Parkhill said.

“To the contrary, it’s well-established that the provision of human rights impacts directly on a person’s wellbeing, and, for many people, the experience of discrimination and social exclusion afforded by the ban on same-sex marriage leads to a range of health concerns.

“It is therefore extremely concerning to have health professionals support discrimination that impacts on the health and wellbeing of many people in our community.

“Instead, these doctors should focus on providing more respect and better health outcomes for their GLBT patients.

“ACON has a list of GLBT-friendly doctors in NSW so if people in NSW aren’t happy with their GP, they should visit the ACON website.”

The submission is available on the Senate inquiry website.

The doctor in question and the Doctors for the Family group did not respond at the time of going to print.

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