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Teach your kids about same-sex marriage, say psychologists – and here’s how to do it

Husna Rizvi August 29, 2017
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Same-sex marriage rally in Sydney

(Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Psychologists from the Australian Psychological Society (APS) have released a practical guide for talking to children about marriage equality.

The move comes before Australians prepare to vote in a postal survey regarding the legislation of LGBT marriage.

The APS has stated its support for the ‘yes’ campaign, which backs equal marriage legislation.

Protesters push for Parliamentary vote on marriage equality
Protesters push for Parliamentary vote on marriage equality (Getty)

The guide, titled ‘Tips for talking with children and young people about marriage equality and related issues’, emphasises providing young children with the “important opportunity” to talk with them about “marriage, relationships, diversity, and equality” early on.

The tip sheet goes through how to bring up LGBT relationships, what to talk about, and how to “clarify misconceptions”.

Dr Susie Burke, a senior spokesperson for the APS, told BuzzFeed: “We suggest parents bring up the topic with their children — ask: ‘Have you heard about the marriage equality debate?’ — and listen closely to what they have heard.”

The APS advocates talking to children early on.

“We know children are aware that there’s something being discussed among the adults on marriage equality, and that this is to do with gay or lesbian or transgender people,” said Burke.

“[You could ask:] why is discrimination harmful?

“It makes people feel bad about themselves, it renders a person less well, more likely to be depressed, anxious, to have other mental health problems.”

The APS supports the view that there is “no evidence” that children are harmed by countries legislating or endorsing gay marriage.


The guide itself states that parental suitability is irrelevant to the case for equal marriage, stating: “It’s got nothing to do with whether they should be parents.

“Many LGBTQI+ people are already parents, and children are already growing up in same-sex parented households.

“Preventing same-sex couples from marrying won’t change this.”



Burke said that people “need to look at the majority view”.

She added: “A consensus view speaks volumes more than a small minority.”

The organisation plans to distribute the guide to schools across Australia.

More: Australia, Australia, child psychologists, Children, Education, Government, malcolm turbull, plebiscite, Politics, postal plebiscite, postal vote, psychology, same sex marriage, school, science, vote

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