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Thanks but no thanks to third-year medical student Carolyn O’Neil for giving us the benefit of her wisdom, but her attempts to badger, browbeat and name call those that are against gay marriage and compare them to racists is literally, in her case, undergraduate and juvenile.

It is typical of the indulged, cosseted and cloistered, campus mindset, where everyone agrees with everyone else, and much of what passes for considered and rational debate from those of limited to no life experience.

Because of their bubble like existence and exposure to the real world, they lack the ability to articulate an argument and immediately reach for the racist epithet whilst refusing to countenance or tolerate countervailing points of view. I mean, why stop there? While she’s throwing her toys out of the cot, why not go the entire “Godwin’s Law” and throw in Nazi for good measure.


A petition backed by the AMA and signed by more than 2000 doctors accuses medical practitioners who oppose same-sex marriage of acting like racists and exposing gay people to increased risks of ­depression and suicide.

Divisions within the medical profession over support for same-sex marriage have deepened, as a leading dissident doctor claimed he had been personally attacked and linked to racism in an open letter signed by doctors and medical students.

An open letter, written by Perth third-year medical student Carolyn O’Neil and attached to the petition, accused doctors such as former Tasmanian president of the Australian Medical Association Chris Middleton and 400 others opposed to the AMA position on same-sex marriage, of contributing to “increased depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal behaviour”.

“To speak out against one sector of the community for wanting access to what everyone else can claim freely is discrimination in line with that historically practiced (sic) against non-white ­people throughout the Western world,” the letter said.

Dr Middleton, who resigned from the AMA over its support for same-sex marriage, told The Australian he had been “abused” and “smeared” as a racist in an “astonishing and intemperate” attack. He said the open letter, which was distributed as part of the AMA’s newsletter, was the sort of personal attack on any doctor who questioned LGBQTI orthodoxy that “repulsed” the public.

The petition against Dr Lai, facil­itated and later withdrawn by GetUp!, called on the AMA and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority to deregister Dr Lai for a breach of medical ethics and the Geneva Conventions through her ­participation in the recent No campaign.

The bitter medical dispute is taking place as the Coalition, Labor Party, Greens and marriage groups try to agree on rules for the postal survey debate that will now go ahead, following the High Court’s dismissal of Yes campaign activists’ challenges.

Ms O’Neil stood by the references to racism in the open letter, which she said she drafted with input from other doctors, as being “valid historical parallels with previous experience”. “I don’t shy back from that, I stand by that and if you can’t see the parallels there is something wrong,” she told The Australian. Ms O’Neil said there were extreme arguments on both sides involving hurtful abuse that damaged the campaigns but said there was a focus on the racist ­references in the letter which there “shouldn’t have been”. “I think part of the problem is that there is discomfort with the fact that we have been racist,” she said. “On both sides there has been quite vocal and nasty abuse, which makes both sides look bad.”

AMA president Michael Gannon has said he respected the right of Dr Middleton and his group, which includes former AMA state presidents and members, to have a different view. Dr Gannon has cited the open letter as evidence that not all the 30,000 AMA members agree with Dr Middleton.

Dr Middleton said last night: “May we suggest that such ad hominem attacks on any who question the LGBT orthodoxy is precisely what the public is repulsed by. We have made no such attacks, and we advise the authors and signatories of the rival document to reconsider their words.”

He said his group’s criticism of the AMA’s support for the Yes campaign was focused on the “scholarly integrity” of the AMA’s argument but the letter was an emotive attack. “It is emotive, indeed abusive, to equate opposition to same-sex marriage with the ­racism of an earlier era. Any reasonable person who has read our measured critique of the research on same-sex parenting will be ­astonished at the intemperate ­attempt by this document to smear us as ­little different to racists.”  Same-sex marriage: Doctors in open conflict over ‘racism’ call in letter