Call for youth voice on marriage equality debate

Imagine growing up knowing that because you are same sex attracted you will never be able to choose to get married to someone you love - something your heterosexual friends take for granted.

headspace chief executive Chris Tanti said that marriage equality is primarily about ending social exclusion and giving all Australians the same basic rights. headspace knows this lack of equality has strong links to mental health issues, depression and suicide among same sex attracted young people.

"Responses from over 3000 young people in La Trobe University's writing themselves in report indicate that it's discrimination like this that perpetuates feelings of isolation and leads to poorer mental health outcomes," Mr Tanti said.

The Federal Government's report Social Inclusion in Australia - How Australia is faring contains strong commitments to building 'a stronger, fairer nation in which every Australian gets a fair go at the things which make for an active and fulfilling life'.

"Now that Parliament has supported the motion calling for MPs to listen to the views of their communities headspace is hopeful our country's politicians will keep their minds and hearts open to the voices of those around them. We want to see an end to the unnecessary stigma and isolation another generation of young Australians could face because of this inequality," he said.

headspace wants to ensure that youth voices are heard in this debate particularly. That's why we are asking young people to share their stories, experiences and views by emailing These voices will be collected and presented to Prime Minister Gillard.

headspace media contact:
Dave Bell
Tel: 03 9027 0127
Mob: 0413 025 385

Note to editor: the third writing themselves in report by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (La Trobe University) will be published at 5pm on Friday 19 August 2010.