Exploring the Impact of the Australian Marriage Equality Debate on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Men and Women,Β  and Their Allies.

Anderson, J. (Australian Catholic University; Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health, and Society [ARCSHS], La Trobe University.), Koc, Y. (University of Groningen)

In 2017, the Australian Government announced that a voluntary postal survey would be used to quantify the views of the Australian public on marriage equality. This non-binding, voluntary postal survey – and the associated public debate – can be viewed as a discriminatory event for same-sex attracted Australians. The exacerbation of minority stress likely imposed by this unexpected event has resulted in an unprecedented demand for psychological services by members of this community. Despite this surge of use, little is known about the specifics of the impact of this discriminatory event. In this presentation, I present research exploring the psychosocial impact of this discriminatory event during (in the month leading up to the announcement of the outcomes of the plebiscite) and after (6-month follow up) on a sample of gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women, and a sample of heterosexual allies. Overall, the findings revealed a range of severe and prevalent negative impacts of this discriminatory event. Moreover, the results suggested that the impact not only affects this at-risk group, but also (to a lesser degree) their heterosexual allies. These results can help inform future policy with the aim of decreasing minority stress experienced by LGBTIQ+ people.

Twitter: @joelmelb

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Queer Families Symposium