Sep 6, 2012

Get Fact: do gays have more health problems than smokers?

Julia Gillard pulled out of next month's Australian Christian Lobby conference in Canberra, condemning boss Jim Wallace's claim that taking up smoking is healthier than being gay. We put Wallace's claims to the truth test.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Yesterday, Australian Christian Lobby boss Jim Wallace told an audience debating gay marriage at the University of Tasmania that taking up smoking was a comparatively better lifestyle choice than engaging in the salacious activity associated with same-sex marriage.

“I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health — which it presents when it wants more money for health — are that is has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years,” he said. Smoking, by contrast, led to a reduced life expectancy of between seven and 10 years.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

63 thoughts on “Get Fact: do gays have more health problems than smokers?

  1. cairns50

    im sure this is the same guy ex sas who was always being interviewed by kerry o’brien when the iraq war was on, apparently because he was some sort of expert on warfare tactics etc

    seems now hes changed his job to became a right wing releigious gay hater

    nut case, how come these people keep getting public exposure ?

  2. gautillard dellron

    “nut case, how come these people keep getting public exposure ?” – cairns50

    “we need to make copy for tomorrow. quick, say something controversial” – everyone in the media.

  3. Holden Back

    Just heard him on ABC radio talking about it being misleading to ‘package the gay lifestyle the same as the heterosexual lifestyle’ , and claiming to have no idea why this was offensive.

  4. SusieQ

    Gillard should never have been going to the ACL conference in the first place – that really would have made them feel more important than they really are – just because Howard did it and Abbott does…..
    These American-style ‘family groups’ that peddle hatred, intolerance and bigotry need to held accountable by the rest of us for all the rubbish they spout. This article helps.

  5. AaronH

    A decent analysis, but the sub-editors really took a break in the third-last paragraph.

  6. Suzanne Blake

    Without a condom, he is probably right

  7. Bill Hilliger

    Actually many believe that Jesus was probably gay – is that so? In my view Jesus he did seem to hang out mostly with his male desciples and for a very long time. Sort of un-natural isn’t it? What would Jim Wallace’s views be on this matter? Take up smoking…?

  8. Scott

    Anyone interested in a 2008 literature study to make up their own minds on what is a serious subject (though you wouldn’t know it from Jim and Andrew’s contributions)

  9. Al

    The relationship between poor health outcomes and disempowerment is well researched and recognised in the public health and epidemiology communities. An end to homophobia and opposition to marriage equality will therefore improve the health and wellbeing of the GLBT community.

    The bigotry of Jim Wallace and his dodgy mates at the ACL will cause harm, particularly to those thousands of young Australians struggling with their sexuality in an often hostile world. Christians? Not bloody likely!

  10. secondsoprano

    @” the foundation for the statement is dubious and contested”

    That’s putting it very generously. A more accurate assesment might be “the foundation for the statement is unmitigated bollocks”

    @Cairns50 “seems now hes changed his job to became a right wing releigious gay hater”

    He’s been that for quite a while. This is just the latest in a long string of bizarre offensive rubbish.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details