Chris Miles
Chris Miles

The pamphlet claims that the children of same-sex parents are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

Former Liberal MP Chris Miles threatened earlier this week to print millions of copies of a pamphlet he authorised that claims the children of same-sex couples are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, drug abuse, or suffer depression. Miles said he could distribute the copies “throughout Australia at the grassroots.”

Along with claiming that these children are at a greater risk of abuse, the pamphlet also makes the claim that “married biological parents have a better record for providing safety and development of healthy, well-adjusted adult children.”

The claims are not supported by research, and the pamphlet does not include any sources. It includes the message, “Advocates of same-sex marriage use the words love and equality to mask the real issue with a veneer of superficiality. Those who vote against same-sex marriage are not bigots or haters.”

Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality, said that this is, “just the start of the anti-gay misinformation campaign millions of Australians will have to endure” if the proposed plebiscite on marriage equality takes place.

He added, “Not only is the information on this flyer wrong; it will put the lives of young gay people and the children of same-sex couples at risk by reinforcing the message that they and their families are broken.”

Miles has called the pamphlet “thoughtful and constructive” and has also responded to questions about the claims being hurtful by saying, “Lots of things are hurtful to people in Australia. Everyone hurts on a whole range of views.”

Liz Short, who was in charge of the Australian Psychological Society review of medical literature on LGBTI-parented families said, “The review shows the children of same-sex couples are likely to be at least as well-adjusted – socially, emotionally and academically – as other children. It also shows their mental health is vulnerable to exactly the kind of prejudice and hostility to be found in this leaflet.”