Who are ‘Doctors for the Family’?

Mother’s Day. It’s one of those terribly sentimental holidays where media gush about the importance of giving Mum a day off, department stores hold sales where everything is pink (right down to a cute little pink cordless drill for the ‘Handy-Mum’, god save us), and we all get to see news anchors say hi to their own mothers and make jokes about perhaps not giving them the right present.

This year, though, every potential parent in Australia got a slap in the face, thanks to News Limited. In itself, that’s not so surprising – but what is worrying is that no media organisation seems to have done more than the most rudimentary of investigation into the report.

The Herald-Sun published a letter signed by 150 doctors, who all expressed their concerns that same-sex marriage – oh, sorry, “so-called same-sex marriage” – posed a health risk to any children those couples might parent.

A health risk. That’s right. And just in case we weren’t sure what that might mean, the letter helpfully spelled it out in a footnote telling us about increased rates of HIV among those who engage in male-male sex.

The letter didn’t stop there, though. There is a further concern for children – that there might be terrible health consequences associated with ‘further “normalising” of homosexual behaviour’. Not least of these consequences is that people might be charged with “hate speech” (their quotes) if they speak out against marriage equality (sorry, sorry, “so-called same-sex marriage”, I keep forgetting), or that their kids might be somehow irrevocably damaged by remaining in Health Ed classes where they’re taught that sometimes boys wants to have sex with boys. Quite what that damage might be was left unspecified. Perhaps that they might learn how important safer sex practices are, and that they’re not damned to hell for who they love?

Naturally, other media jumped all over it. The AMA practically fell over themselves to get into the TV studios so they could denounce the letter, and a raft of evidence showing that same-sex parenting was no more or less damaging than any other kind made it to the airwaves. Uncomfortably, one of the signatories was Professor Kuravilla George, who serves as Victoria’s deputy chief psychiatrist. He’s also a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Oops. How did that guy slip through the cracks? That’s the question everyone’s asking. How did someone with such blinkered – and frankly wrong – views make it into such a sensitive position? And it’s a good question. But there’s more going on here. What we’ve seen is just the surface.

The letter is headed up, ‘Doctors for the Family’. Question is, just who is this organisation?

It takes about five minutes to find out.

Doctors for the Family describes itself in this way:

“There are many organisations in Australia and internationally that support marriage – the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others – as the basis for family and a healthy society.

Doctors for the Family is a supporting medical organisation to highlight the health aspects of marriage and family and ensure a healthy future for our children.

Its purpose is to be a source of information and at times make representation to parliament or appropriate organisations to ensure policies that enhance and preserve the health and future of our nation.”

There’s no wriggle-room there. It’s an organisation that was specifically set up for the sole purpose of pushing a homophobic, anti-marriage equality agenda. It does not claim to make any form of objective analysis, merely to ‘be a source of information’. And there’s no one presented as a front person. Those who wish to contact the organisation are invited to email ‘web@doctors4family.com.au’ as generic a web address as I’ve ever seen. In itself, that should have rung alarm bells with journalists everywhere to start digging.

Go behind the website, however, and you find out what’s really going on here.

Via whois lookup, a moment’s work discovers that the site is owned by a Doctor Lachlan Dunjey, the first signatory on the letter. So who is he? Behold, everyone’s best friend Google.

Lachlan Dunjey just happens to be one of the driving forces behind the Church in Perth – a fundamentalist Christian group. The site helpfully provides us with a list of his articles, and we can see straight away that same-sex marriage is only one of Dunjey’s crusades – and that the ‘Doctors for the Family’ website is only one of his soapboxes. There’s anti-abortion via Choose Life Australia and Conscience in Medicine; so-called ‘personhood’ issues which affect stem cell research, contraception and embryo destruction; anti-Bill of Rights; and euthanasia.

All of these articles are liberally sprinkled with out-of-context quotes from the Bible, pseudo-science, and outright lies. Far from being simply a group of doctors concerned about the health implications of policy, Doctors for the Family is just another front for a fundamentalist Christian group with a hate-mongering agenda.

Here’s a sample, and it shows just where Dunjey is coming from:

“It is one thing to pass a law that permits evil but it is something more to pass a law that compels evil. We have not been here before in a civilised society. Yes, we need to change people’s hearts and minds by bringing them into the Kingdom of God.”

It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Dunjey is spear-heading a fundamentalist Christian attack (complete with recruitment drive) disguised as concern for the health of children – which is utterly reprehensible.

Oh, and best of all? Dunjey is a member of and former Senate candidate for the Christian Democratic Party.

All of that research and reading was accomplished in less than 30 minutes. And that brings up two questions:

1. How many signatories to that Senate submission knew who they were signing up with?

2. Why did no one in the media do even rudimentary research on Doctors for the Family, and find out who was behind it? Dunjey even fronted the media for a very brief soundbite, but nothing was said about his blatant religious agenda.

And here’s a final point – Doctors for the Family clearly attempted to deceive the Senate enquiry by misrepresenting themselves as a ‘health organisation’, rather than a religious group whose arguments are cherry-picked, distorted, and backed up by the flimsiest of ‘evidence’, all operating from a basis of religious dogma rather than science.

That should be the focus for the media, not whether their arguments hold any validity whatsoever.

There’s simply no excuse for letting that slip.


Nickandrew analysed the signatories of the letter, and discovered around a 35% overlap with those who signed the Liberty of Conscience in Medicine declaration. That particular document affirmed that it had no specific ties to religion or faith, only conscience. Thanks to the efforts of Chrys Stevenson, though, that deception was quickly exposed.

And oh look, here’s our friend Doctor Dunjey again, along nearly 70 doctors who are members or organisers of specifically religious organisations. Many are Catholic, but fundamentalist groups are also well-represented (including – alarmingly – one associated with ‘healing miracles’). Stevenson’s work exposed this organisation as yet another deceptive religious lobby group.

This current issue isn’t an isolated incident … it’s part of a concerted campaign to deceive Parliament in order to push an intolerant and harmful agenda.

It’s time it was thoroughly exposed.

UPDATE, 14/5/12:

After a little more digging, I found out some … interesting information about the so-called ‘evidence’ on which Doctors for the Family relied in their Senate submission. Here’s your link.

You might not be surprised – but I think you will be appalled.

85 Responses to Who are ‘Doctors for the Family’?

  1. Everett says:

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  2. There is no scientific evidence that people are born gay. There has been no gene found for it…yet it seems everywhere you look, people say “science shows that…”. I have a gay uncle, and I love him, no less than before I found out but I will never ever be a supporter of “gay” rights. The only rights I will ever support are human rights. That is something that he knows and we have respectful conversations in which we disagree. We’re in a world where people feel that others have no right to an opinion. Even these Doctors, even when sitting on an Equality and Human rights commission have a right to their own opinions. Both sides of the debate have to be heard without calling people names…I didn’t just wake up one day having my beliefs, These are views formed over time, after seeing the views on both ends.

    • nickandrew says:

      If your human rights don’t include the gay rights your uncle deserves, no wonder you disagree.

      • He is entitled to the same rights as any individual, that’s my view. He understands and respects my view point and I will not claim to understand his but I respect it. I see that everyone has a right to choose how they live their lives. Us disagreeing isn’t a bad thing. We can do it respectfully without calling each other names and still maintain that we love each other…

    • dandare2050 says:

      Saying there is no scientific evidence that people are born homosexual is the same as saying there is no scientific evidence that people are born heterosexual. Its silly. You don’t ‘choose’ to be heterosexual, you just are, you were born that way.

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  6. […] of lies designed to panic the populace and pressure the politicians. In step with the ACL are Doctors for the Family, who I exposed as a religious lobby group hiding behind their qualifications. And then there are […]

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  8. Danvers says:

    Thank you for your post shedding light on an organisation whose members seem to prefer staying anonymous on their own website. I thought you might be interested in this piece in the amusingly conservative Baptist Advocate June rag, with Lachlan Dunjey talking about how “distressed” the doctors are at the “hate mail” they’ve received.

    http://www.baptistwa.asn.au/view/news/the-advocate/ (if the direct link doesn’t work).

  9. Trish says:

    I’m really shocked by the level of hate here for Doctors who have personal ethics that differ from my views. I’ve seen a doctor on this list who’s treated me wonderfully, given nothing but consideration and care along with 7 years of the utmost professionalism, referred me to the best specialists when things have gone wrong, looked after me so well he’s known what was wrong before I did on many occasions, and managed my many serious health conditions without once expressing his views on gay marriage, or my lifestyle choices. Why? I presume because they’re irrelevant to how he treats me. I presume, because it doesn’t compromise my standard of care. I don’t think a straight Christian guy will get a minute more time than I do, or a better level of care. I don’t think I need another lesbian ‘because you have to be gay to understand gay needs’. We don’t have exclusivity on medical conditions or sensitivity. We shouldn’t torch Christians because we disagree with their beliefs – we should love and honour them as fellow human beings. The same with the ‘hetero’ community – if there is one! I’m ashamed to see friends hating others for expressing opinions they disagree with – if it was reciprocated, we’d call it bigotry and hate speech.

    Disappointed that we can’t respect others when all we’re asking for, ostensibly, is respect ourselves.

    • It’s not about differing views; it’s about misrepresentation. Presenting an essentially religious view as ‘medical’ or ‘scientific’ is nothing short of fraud. For that, this organisation was rightly castigated.

      Had they come out and said, ‘We’re doctors and we have a particular religious belief which we’re representing here,’ it would have been honest, and a non-story.

  10. dandare2050 says:

    Don’t you just love that the newspaper did absolutely zero research but also want’s all readers of this uninvestigated crap to pay for the privilege?

  11. nickandrew says:


    That is odd. Another example of dishonesty in promoting the anti-ssm position? I notice Dunjey’s name is a signatory to that document too, as “Medicine With Morality”, yet another of his front groups. Perhaps he thought nobody would make the connection.

    • jack says:

      There is a certain persecution against same sex marriage opponents……………………
      Akin to the persecution of the other side of the climate change debate……………………..
      A noisy minority does not make for good democracy……..be it a corporation with a good lobbyist or a gay pride public march……………

      • Actually, it’s the OPPONENTS of same-sex marriage who are the “noisy minority”. 60% of Australians support it.

        (BTW, your full-stop key seems to be stuck.)

      • nickandrew says:

        Being called out for their lies is not persecution. Exposing their religious underpinnings is not persecution. The opponents of same-sex marriage cry “persecution” and it’s no more truthful than their other claims.

  12. GulliverUK says:

    Kuruvilla George thinks need to include the spiritual / religious views in psychiatric care. I think it’s wrong. http://bit.ly/J2cQaw

    Kuruvilla George has links to EMFI http://bit.ly/J2ceBQ and through them to anti-gay hate group Christian Medical Fellowship

    “Our Deputy Director Paula Gerber responds to the Herald Sun’s story on doctors against same sex marriage:”

    Prof. Kuruvilla George’s (former Roman Catholic missionary) submission “from widely discredited ‘research'” http://bit.ly/JE0Wje

    Let’s face it – these fundamentalist Christian organisations now have to use clock and dagger and dishonest representation, calling them medical foundations, or the moment they mention Christian beliefs people would immediately click off the site. Their reputation is so tarnished now that most people want as little to do with religion as possible. That damages the reputation of faith groups for the majority of Christians who don’t share their dominionism and rapture ways. What also damages the faith are those who try to convert everyone they see, badgering them that they can only have a good life, and an afterlife, is they believe. Those fundamentalist would be the same ones who parts of the bible, and manipulated it for evil intent over thousands of years. If you took the hate out of the bible you’d be left with only about 1/3rd.

  13. I am sick and tired of it.

    We are living in 2012, and who is holding us back from the future?
    Right wing religious buffoons.

    We can’t have freedom to love who we want,
    We can’t have stem cells which may fix a plethora of disease
    Scientists are apparently stupid
    and Climate Change isn’t happening

    I had cancer in 2005, and I know very well where I’d be if I’d had a horde of priests and nuns praying that I’d get better, instead of the medical science and skill which did in fact make me better.

    I refuse to give the religious one moment of my time, I have put a sign on my letterbox which reads “No Religious Propaganda” did they ignore it? Of course! Because I’m so in need of the word of God or something.

    I tear it up and put it straight in the bin.

    I have fought and argued with you dinosaurs over and over, and all you do is quote passages from your pathetic book.

    Well no more, You’re a Christian?

    Fuck off.

  14. […] that ‘Doctors for the Family’ is nothing more than front for evangelical Christians, and furt…. Chrys Stevenson, another blogger was quick off the bat and managed to link many on the list to a […]

  15. william says:

    well there is a grain of truth to the concept of a hetero marriage (nuclear family) having a bettter outcome for a childs development than other arrangements
    doesnt have to be biological mum and dad, the key benefit is based on having both a female and male role model. its noted as the ideal situation

    but then again gay relationships have their feminine and butch sides which can closely approximate the role modelling aeffect of a mum and dad..
    but of course not all families are like that. so then it just boils down to parenting style

    • lilacsigil says:

      No, “william”, there’s not. What is best for children seems to be two parents in an emotionally and economically stable relationship (logically enough). In the US, children with two mothers did marginally better than children with a father and mother or children with two fathers. Nobody knows why, yet.

      • Peter says:

        Yes absolutely, Let the science answer it. If two same sex parents can produce better adjusted offspring, let an analysis show why so that the hetero couples, who are interested, can use the information to better the result of our society. Fuck this bullshit about who’s a better set of parenting. It doesn’t matter who you love, just that you love them. How many hetero couple’s hang out “for the sake of the children” and fuck them up in the process…

    • William, if you look at the Wikipedia article on LGBT parenting, you’ll see it just isn’t so. Same-sex parents do just as well as the hetero-kind.


  16. Opinionated says:

    Well this is interesting reading. I am a father of 3, blessed with loving wife and devoted mother. Yes, it’s a “biological” relationship. I have a brother whom I love dearly and we agree to disagree on this. (I’m about to provide a whole lot of fodder for the same-sex couple to complain about!)
    I believe the best, healthiest family unit is a stable hetro-sexual couple who love and respect each other providing an example for their children whom they also love & support. I do not support “same sex marriage”, it is a contradiction, people make a choice to be who they are and with that come the consequences of the life-style; That of which I do not believe is the best option to bring children up in. There, its out there, someone with an opposite opinion. Go ahead and pro-create with your partner, the one you love. If you’re in a same sex relationship chances are ther will not be a result: againa choice. and you can dress it up any way you like. Are those people being denied anything? Nothing more or less than their choices have resulted in.
    Yest there are ugly hetro relationships, some times children are caught inthe middle. Not pretty, but just like any two people sometimes have. This is not to provoke anyone or anything, you have an opinion, so do I. Mothers and fathers play very separate and individual roles. Do they get it right all the time? Of course not!
    I feel for those children who have been abused or anything as they are precious and vulnerable and need love and protection. The system has faults, tries to pick up the pieces, but if they can be offered comfort in a hetro-sexual (trying to avoid the word normal, as that would only anger people more!) OR a same-sex relationship I would see the best option a she first one.
    I could go on, but to what avail. Do I agree with those doctors comments? Mostly yes. They went a bit far about the sexual desieses as they can come from any relationship. Now bring on the opinions…..

    • Gwen says:

      Clearly you have an opinion and it seems based on the presumption that gay relationships are inferior and somehow wrong. Is there objective evidence for your beliefs? Apparently not! Yet your beliefs should somehow dictate to others how laws governing them whould prevail. What marvelous privilege you must have.

      • Opinionated says:

        Gwen, the evidence will be forthcoming as the situation unravels. Latch-key kids are an example; people had opinions for-against, most against lent towards a family unit other than leaving kids. Wind forward 20 yrs, evidence now points in favour of it not happening, but it did. Was it wrong? It was not the best solution. At that time our family decided to take a financial ‘hit’ & have my wife stay home, again a decision. Was it right? for us it was. I like your thinking about ‘my opinion dictating to others’, would be so easy! Are gay relationships inferior? that’s a big call! My beliefs say I love my brother, he’s gay, that’s not wrong, it’s his life style choice. I don’t agree with it though, but respect it, its his choice. I thought that’s what these forums were for? not patting each other on the back and knuckle-punching, but having opinions.
        I also believe in taking that choice, and this is my opinion, a gay couple forfiet the right to become parents, as there is no balanced partnership of father & mother, which is the best case scenario (asI said before). Thisi s very strong in my heart and we (bro & I) disagree on it.
        Given scenarios, is it better to let someone be beat up, starve, molested, assulted in a foster situation of hetro-relationship one, OR go be loved by a gay couple? I’d go with the second option hands down, it’s about the child first, not about their ‘rights’ to have children. Think of the children then act.

      • WayneDaubney says:

        Being gay is not a choice. We are born this way.

      • Gwen says:

        Well at the moment the evidence points to no difference to the children having gay parents. Referring to gay relationships as a lifestyle also defies evidence that it is not, that being gay is something inherent to the person, not a choice.
        Basically the children are not suffering, there is no evidence that they are and plenty of evidence that they aren’t.
        Gay people are not choosing to be gay they just are.

        Your opinion seems based on what you ‘feel’ might be true but there is no objective evidence to support it. I doubt it will change.

        Unfortunately all heterosexual couples automatically have the right to have children, ready for them or not. Given the hurdles gay parents have to go through to have children (and they are, that won’t change) one would think that they might be statistically more likely to be better parents. Just sayin 🙂

        Why don’t you just leave them to sort out their own lives and leave full and happy lives, married with children.

    • lilacsigil says:

      So you’re against IVF or any form of medical assistance for straight families too? Good to know.

      • Opinionated says:

        What has IVF got to do with this? seems like you’re hurt in some way. BTW, studies about IVF babies are interesting, for those who DON’T know one of thier biological parents, they are feeling lost later in life. Go look up the studies. This is not my opinion, but truth.
        Straight couples (as you put them) searching for IVF as an option are still in a balanced parenting relationship, not same-sex partners.That’s my opionion.

      • kate says:

        Opinionated, you need to follow your assertion that any couple who can’t conceive in the usual way “forfeit the right to become parents” to its logical conclusion, which is that no medical assistance is allowed – you take what ‘god’ gives you, and like it or lump it.

        You are also making a huge assumption that children brought up in same-sex families do not know their other biological parent – this is simply not the case in most instances.

    • Dr Chris Miller says:

      @opinionated, please understand, it’s NOT a choice.

      It’s innate. Your brother didn’t choose it. I didn’t choose it. You didn’t choose it. It’s simply the way we are, like being left-handed.

      Sure, you can argue that gay people “choose” to have sex or build relationships with partners of the same gender, but it’s really only a choice if there’s an alternative – in your worldview, what’s the alternative for your brother, whom you claim to love? Celibacy? A lifetime attached to an opposite-sex partner where there’s no attraction? Those aren’t viable options for most people and I imagine not your brother either.

      Understand this, and you’ll understand why gay and lesbian people only want the same rights and legal protections as you. You”ll understand that any exceptions – including the right to marry – are a legally-sanctioned way of making them different and negatively discriminating against them. Given that gay and lesbian couples are going to continue having and raising children regardless, I hope you’ll also understand how it’s better for those children that their family’s love and mutual commitment is equal in the eyes of the law to the love and commitment of opposite-sex couples.

    • ‘I believe the best, healthiest family unit is a stable hetro-sexual couple who love and respect each other providing an example for their children whom they also love & support.’

      [citation needed]

      I wish I had a dollar for every time I’d had to spam this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_parenting

      ‘ I do not support “same sex marriage”, it is a contradiction, people make a choice to be who they are and with that come the consequences of the life-style; ‘

      Go look up the numbers of gay youths who commit suicide because they can’t deal with the homophobia they cop. Or at folk like Bob Brown, who spent years trying to be ‘cured’ of homosexuality through counselling and electro-shock therapy before making peace with his orientation.

      Now tell me why those people didn’t just “choose” not to be gay.

  17. WayneDaubney says:

    If these so called family groups wish to push their private agendas of discrimination and hate; then the media needs to identify these groups and individuals as having a bias; rather than blindly printing any press release full of lies and dogma which espouses hatred. Any church that involves itself politically should lose it’s tax exempt status.

    The church and in particular the Catholic Church pushes their anti gay agenda, yet they are strangely silent about the abuse of children and pedophilia in the Church. Pot, kettle, black.

    One day we will have equality; and there is nothing the churches can do to stop the momentum.

  18. […] would appear some religiously minded physicians aren’t big fans of same-sex marriage. That’s a shame. What would Russel think? Let’s find […]

  19. and for the lazy… here are the doctors that signed…

    Dr Lachlan Dunjey
    Dr Darryn Rennie MBBS FRACGP
    Dr TW Yip BA BMBS
    Dr Michael Chong MBBS DCH FRACGP
    Dr Priscilla Tan
    Dr Yoke Mei Neoh MBBS
    Dr John Mathai MBBS FRANZCP
    Dr Peter Coleman MBBS
    Dr Ana Hernandez MBBS
    Dr Rimino Guerriero
    Dr Brett Hurley MBBS
    Dr John Raj MBBS MS
    Dr Joan Anderson MBBS
    Dr Eleanor Sharland MBBS (Hons) FRACGP
    Dr Craig Hendry MB BS FRCS
    Dr Robert Claxton MB BS FRACS FRCS FRCSEd
    Dr Lindsay Grigg MBBS FRCS FRACS
    Dr David Lim MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Suresh John MBBS MMed(O&G) FRCOG FRANZCOG
    Dr Gabriel James BSc MSc MBBS
    Dr Catherine Hollier BMed
    Danielle Li
    Dr Colin Broun MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Theo Shemansky MBBS FRACGP BAppSci(Pod)
    Dr Melvin Yong
    Les Miller
    Dr Lucas McLindon MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Joseph Turner MBBS PhD
    Dr Duncan Chang MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Richard Shawyer MBBS MTH
    Dr Rita Machaalani
    Dr Cameron James BMed
    Dr Andrew Hunt BMed
    Dr Robert Pollnitz MBBS FRACP
    Professor Kuruvilla George MBBS MPhil FRCPsych FRANZCP
    Dr Margaret Payne MBBS FRANZCOG FRCOG B.Couns.
    Dr Simon Pilbrow MBBS PhD FRACGP
    Dr Rhys Morgan MBBS FANZCA BMin
    Dr Phillip Chalmers FRACP MBBS
    Dr Yong Yau Paul Chia MBBS (Hons)
    Dr Robert Whittaker MBChB. FRACGP FACRRM DipObst DA
    Dr Joseph Santamaria MBBS FRACP FAFPHM MMED OAM
    Dr Jane Thompson MBBS
    Moses Chan
    Dr Donna Purcell MB BS
    Dr Graham Toohill MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Mark Petersen MBChB
    A/ Prof Clyde Jumeaux MBBS DRANZCOG
    Dr Alison Bignell MBBS QLD FRACGP
    Dr Paul Evans MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Amanda Lamont MBBS
    Dr Robert McWilliam MBBS FRCS .
    Dr Andrew Kam MBBS FRACR
    Dr John North MBBS FRACS
    Dr Terence Middleton MBBS DipRACOG FRACGP
    Dr Felicity Wild MB BS GP
    Dr Barry Earp MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Raymond Binns MBBS FRANZCP
    Dr Theodore Kitchen FRACGP DTMH FACRRM
    Dr Jude Ayeni FMCPsy
    Dr Patrina Caldwell B Med FRACP PhD
    Dr Hector Divinagracia
    Dr Nell Muirden MBBS FAChPM DTMH
    Dr John Muirden MBBS FRACP FRANZCR
    Dr Margaret Graham MBBS FRACGP FRANZCP
    Dr Cornelis Buma MBBS DRCOG
    Dr Catherine Hurworth MBChB NFPMC
    A/Prof Albert Reece MBBS FRACGP MD FRCS
    Dr Eamonn Mathieson MBBS FANZCA
    Dr Dawn Reeler FRACGP
    Dr Norman Gage MBBS FRANZCOG PostGradDipPalliative Medicine
    Dr Tanuja Martin MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Hock Lim MBBS
    Dr Geoff Masters MBBS
    Dr Fiona Liew MBBS FRACP
    Leonard Lum
    Dr Kelvin Siew
    Dr Graham Cullingford MBBS FRACS
    Dr Geoffrey Mayor MBBS
    Dr Matthew Hodge MBBS
    Dr Wendy Lawrance MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Conrad Morze MBCHB FRACGP FARGP
    Dr John Adegboye MBBS FRANZCP
    Dr Thalia Shuttleworth MBBS FRCSEd FRACOphth
    Dr Justin Morze MBChB
    Dr Matthew Wong MBBS
    Dr Jeremy Beckett MBBS RACGP
    Dr Andrew Wallis MBBS
    Dr Timothy Kleinig PhD FRACP MBBS Hons
    Dr Mary Stavropoulou MBBS
    Dr Natasha Hamilton MBBS
    Rev Peter Ferwerda MBBS FRACGP St. Patrick’s
    Dr Nick Woolfield MBChB DCH DipObst FRACP FSAHM
    Dr Judith McEniery MBBS FAChPM
    A/Prof Douglas Cordell FRACGP MPH FAFPHM
    Dr Maria Menkens
    Dr Terrence Kent MBBS
    Dr Yi-An Neoh MBBS
    Dr David van Gend MBBS FRACGP DipPallMed
    Dr Mark Strelnikow MBBS FRACGP DipRACOG
    Dr Arthur Hartwig MBBS
    Dr Kim Tan MBBS
    Dr Catherine Crowley MBBS(hon) DipPaed
    Dr Ranee Richards MBBS MPM FRANZCP
    Dr Louise Butler FRACGP
    Dr Adalbert Imperial MBBS
    Dr John Francis MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Jacinta Le Page MBBS
    Dr. Wendy Bourke MBBS FRANZCP
    Dr Preshy Varghese MBBS MMed FRCS FRACGP
    Dr Terry Bennett MBBS
    Dr Paul Collin MBBS FRACGP
    Dr John Fluit MBBS DRANZCOG
    Dr Brendan Miller MBBS BSc FRACGP
    Dr Antonia Turnbull MBBS
    Dr Graeme Cumming BMed FRACGP
    Dr Margaret Doherty MBBS FRANZCP
    Dr Simon Tong
    Dr Giuseppe Terminello MBBS Cert Pub Health FACNEM
    Dr Ruth Highman MBBS FRACGP BA(psych) FACRRM FARCGP
    Dr Thomas Flood BMBS Emergency Medicine
    Dr Timothy O’Neill MBBS MPsychMed DRCOG FRACGP
    Dr Mrs Catherine Grant BMBS
    Dr Aet Lees MD FRACP BA
    Dr Charbel Bejjani MBBS B.Pharm,,
    Dr Johnny Khoury MBBS BSc(Med) FRACGP DCH DRANZCOG
    Dr Charles Slack PhD (Princeton)
    Dr Alasdair Livingston BMBCh FRCS
    Dr Catherine Lennon MBBS FRAGP
    Dr Eng Ng MBBS
    Dr Michel Allam MBBS FRCA FANZCA
    Dr Lesley Chisholm MBBS
    Dr Katie Willis MBBS
    Dr David van der Moezel MBBS DRANZCOG DCH
    Dr Elizabeth Ravenscroft MBBS FRACP
    Professor Peter Ravenscroft AM MD FRACP FAChPM FFPPMANZCA
    Dr Robert Britten-Jones MBBS FRCS FRACS
    Dr Mark Hurworth MBChB FRCS(Ed) FRACS FA(Orth)A
    Dr Anthony Fisher MBBS FANZCA
    Dr Sheela Joseph MD
    Dr Sean Kristoffersen MBBS FRACGP
    Dr Premeeta Rawat MBBS

  20. […] Who are ‘Doctors for the Family’? (20120-May-13) [The Conscience Vote] Why did no one in the media do even rudimentary research on […]

    • Alan - Gold Coast says:

      Because many of our journalists are basically lazy and incompetent and will take anything that is given to them if it can create a headline. We see that in politics all the time..a few excellent writers, a few (good writers) with their party name indelibly inked on their sleeve and the rest just plain unprofessional.

      • WayneDaubney says:

        I have forwarded information to Media Watch so the Sun Herald can get taken down a peg or two for unprofessional conduct – i.e. not checking their sources

  21. Excellent work, as usual, Marian. I completely missed this over the weekend (which I imagine was the intention). Glad you caught it 🙂

  22. Sonja says:

    What a load of rot. Anyone who doesnt support your gay and pro abortion agenda is a religious nutter? Both this list of doctors and Women’s Forum Australia have research supporting the damage done to society by same sex marriage and abortion. Perhaps you havent taken the time to examine it. Stop shoving your anti family agendas down our throats!!

    • Anthony says:

      Read the article again please. It is more about misrepresentation in the community and the failure of the general media to not investigate it enough. Its not about pushing pro-gay, pro-abortion agendas.
      It is about those who are pushing a particular agenda will use any means to misrepresent themselves and mislead the public, by claiming to be something they are not and hiding their true selves.
      They obviously feel ashamed to stand up and say outright, we are Christian fundamentalists and we believe only in monogamous heterosexual partnerships in marriage. Why else would they use some vague name and website to describe themselves and what they stand for.

      Every person should have the right to decide what they do with their own body and who they wish to share a loving and supportive relationship with. As long as the children are in a loving and supporting family, regardless of the sex of both parents, they should turn out alright. There are plenty of children who have been heinous burdens on society because they have come from a destructive standard family environment.

      I believe the government should have a standard legal partnership for everyone, regardless of gay/straight preference and leave religious marriage to religions. I am a firm believer in the separation of State and Religion.

    • Krista Rados says:

      Religious nutter. Your words. Just sayin’…

    • nickandrew says:

      “Anyone who doesnt support your gay and pro abortion agenda is a religious nutter?”

      No. The evidence shows that “Doctors for the Family” have a religious agenda. They hide it and pretend to not have any religious motivation, and that is a cause for concern.

      “Stop shoving your anti family agendas down our throats!!”

      If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get married to a person of the same gender. How is this shoving anything down your throat? Surely this is the more responsible and humane position, to leave these matters within the control of the people affected.

      You, on the other hand, apparently wish that abortion should be banned, and gays prevented from marrying. You are the one shoving your agenda down our throats, as you seek to impose your moral convictions on everybody else. YOU don’t like gay marriage, therefore no gays are permitted to marry.

      It’s no surprise that this, frankly backward morality is religiously inspired. Catholic Bishops are going all out to fight same-sex marriage. The Australian Christian Lobby has been a noisy advocate for bigotry. Even Cardinal George Pell has compared gays to a flawed carpet and wishes to deny loving couples the right to marry based on their gender. Religions haven’t been able to articulate an argument against gay marriage which withstands any scrutiny. “My god doesn’t like it” is no argument, and requires no refutation. Appeals to science have been shown to use non-relevant studies, cherry-picked data or bias. Meanwhile, the relevant scientific literature shows that there’s nothing wrong with it.

      If you want skeptics to support your cause, find some better arguments. Because the arguments you have given to date are pissweak, self-serving reinforcements of your bigotry and your god’s moral vacuity. Arguments which could only convince, well, Christians.

    • WayneDaubney says:

      Then stop trying to shove your religious views down our throats. You are welcome to believe in a fictitious God if you so wish, but personally I think the Bible is a work of fiction.

      And for those that quote Leviticius – if you eat shellfish; wear garments of mixed fibres; are around men when you’re menstruating – should I stone you now or later?

      If you are going to believe in the Bible then you really can’t cherry pick the bits you believe in or not

  23. WT says:

    While I would like the media to pick up on this astroturfer angle, I suspect they have a few skeletons in their closet preventing them from doing so.

    Astroturfing in other areas (eg. property, see links below) has been exposed by independent research, and I expect this trend to continue.


  24. Dr Chris Miller says:

    I’m a doctor in a committed same sex relationship and I was appalled to see that one of the other doctors in the practice where I work is a signatory to this document. I know she has already lost at least one patient as a result.

    If your doctor is on this list, I would ask that you politely and respectfully write to them and let them know your feelings. This serves two purposes:

    1. If you decide to no longer attend, they’ll know how their actions have affected their bottom line

    2. There may be another doctor in the same practice who’s not opposed to same sex marriage and would appreciate your support.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and to provide some really practical advice.

      I think you’ve raised an important point. If doctors know that there are potential negative consequences for putting their names to that letter, they may take the time to think about what they intend to do.

      • Dr Chris Miller says:

        We can voice our opinions on blogs as much as we like, but at some point it’s necessary to actually *do* something.

        For readers who are motivated to take this extra step, I would suggest that “Members of the public may make a notification to AHPRA about the conduct, health or performance of a practitioner”. I would argue that the conduct of all signatories of the Doctors for Family Senate Submission is unprofessional and unethical in that it intentionally misrepresents scientific evidence in order to pursue a religious and political agenda.

        Further, as a medical practitioner, I am required by law to notify conduct that has “placed the public at risk of harm because they practised their profession in a way that constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards”. I submit that the conduct of Doctors for Family has placed the public at risk of harm by further marginalising same-sex attracted people and arguably increasing the risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm in same-sex attracted people.

        I have submitted a notification of Dr Dunjey’s unprofessional conduct to the Australian Medical Practitioner Regulation Agency at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/notifications-and-outcomes/make-a-notification.aspx. I suggest that readers of this page do the same.

      • nickandrew says:

        Dr Chris, that is a really good idea.

  25. Thank you for this. Job well done! Am retaining the letter for my records. These people are also commercial entities so I am keeping the letter to ensure that I never fall into their hands.

    What these people don’t seem to realise is that whether they like it or not, the horse has already bolted. Many people are in committed relationships and are raising their families quite happily. Some have already been married in other countries irrespective of whether the Australian government recognises those marriages. I would have thought that the sort of people who sign these letters would be pro-family and pro-children and would want to see children brought up in stable, family units as so many children of gay parents are.

    It amazes me that there is all this hatred displayed towards gay marriage … and there seems to be no hatred expressed towards heterosexual marriages that end in the murder of numerous children and spouses. We hear from homophobic people about dreadful homosexual practices but never about dreadful heterosexual practices.

    I my view the government should get out of marriage definition. Marriage, yes even Christian marriage, is an historical convention based on the community, based on couples declaring their intent and their relationship before their community. So let’s have the government out of all definition of what constitutes marriage and only intervene to protect human rights and legal obligations to spouses and children, etc.

    There is one issue to protest about in relation to marriage and that is exploitation. I am getting on for ancient status. I am a practising Christian. I have worshipped in many Christian denominations and I have yet to hear a sermon or any other form of Christian discourse on the topic of marriage and family exploitation.

  26. Lucy says:

    Basically, a head Victorian government doctor is saying the opposite to the state’s own Law Reform Commission: http://www.lawreform.vic.gov.au/projects/assisted-reproductive-technology-adoption/outcomes-children-born-art-diverse-range-families He needs to be sacked immediately.

    The status of doctors in this country is such that any statement, particularly an emotive one like childhood health, carries a weight far greater than most other professions. They have a greater obligation therefore to not misrepresent facts, and behave in an honest and respectful fashion towards ALL people in the community.

  27. delma shotton says:

    DOCTORS IN THE FAMILY.Most people would fall for this,without reading behind the name.As most people think Drs are god.There certainly is a hidden agenda.

  28. Andrew Smith says:

    @nickandrew If you do your research you will find that the original feminists were also “anti-choice”. They saw it as an absolute betrayal of motherhood to abort a baby. You weren’t a real woman if you did that.

  29. Josh says:

    Hey, you should send this to Media Watch if you haven’t already, they might run a bit on it. Totally outrageous the way these nutters opinions were presented as concerned “doctors”.

  30. […] also:  Who are Doctors for the Family? – The Conscience Vote blog Rate this: Share this:EmailDiggFacebookTwitterRedditLike […]

  31. Mike W says:

    Their 2010 submission quotes the US hate group Mass Resistance. Not exactly a neutral primary source.

  32. Pleaides says:


  33. Christine Limburg says:

    While I’m a 40+ single parent. I would have no issue with myself or my children being friends with the children from any parent as long as said child had a loving parent or parents….. And from somebody who had to have an abortion due to medical reasons there is a whole lot of grey areas in that arena, it should be case by case not a blanket ban or free pass.

  34. I like Gays more than religious types… Gay people don’t stuff propaganda into my letter box.

  35. Vanessa says:

    I was raised by my hetero-sexual biological parents: a man and a woman who did not want or care for their four children. Those like “Doctors for the Family” do not even appear to think of the hundreds of children abused and the few children murdered by their hetero-sexual, biological parents every year. Whenever I hear of groups like this, making stupid statements like this, I wonder just what it is that they are afraid of.

  36. Sam McNamara says:

    What wankers! How could same sex marriage be an unhealty enviroment for children to be raised in? When it’s pretty much the same as when a single parent lives with their child and a friend of the same sex, honestly just because someone’s dads or mums show affection towards each other doesn’t make them programmed to be gay or against straight people. And well you honesty now days are just as likely to catch HIV from a straight person as you would from a gay. It’s the underground they should be conplainging about when it comes to HIV because of drugs and the illicit sex trade not loving gay family’s that want to raise a child!

  37. Ken Dally says:

    How on earth can these deceptive scum call themselves doctors when they deliberately break their oath of Do no harm.

  38. Gwen says:

    “He’s also a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.”
    Given that the Attourney General of Victoria is a fundie who was responsible for the removal of protections against gays, disabled people and anyone else they didn’t like for so called christian organisations (their first priority FFS) is this an indication that fundies are attempting to stack equal oportunity boards and commissions to deny human rights to anyone but themselves.
    Just askin……..

  39. myke says:

    With regards to Kuravilla George, I believe he was appointed to the board of the VEOHRC by the current Attorney-General, Robert Clark. Clark being openly catholic and critical of Victoria’s human rights charter.

    Great piece, thanks!

  40. nickandrew says:

    Well done. The media has done the populace a disservice by presenting these astroturfers with legitimacy.

    I analysed the signatories of the “Doctors for the Family” anti-ssm petition with the “Liberty of Conscience in Medicine” Declaration and there’s about a 35% overlap in names. Chrys Stephenson analysed the latter set of names here: http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/in-good-conscience/ and found many connections to Catholics and conservative Christians.

  41. Bianca says:

    In their submission they also made several references to only BIOLOGICAL parents and Dunjay stated the same thing on ABC Radio “It’s well proven that children who grow up with a mother and a father in a biological mother-and-father family do better than children who don’t have the opportunity to grow up in that kind of family,” Apparently not even adoption or guardians, foster care or other types of families are good enough for them. As a person raised by non biological parents I’ve been desperately upset all day by these reports. Families are Families. And from someone who’s been there Biology means nothing LOVE means everything.

  42. lilacsigil says:

    Good research! Honestly, I’d be surprised if the number of doctors who are homophobic was vastly different to the general population, but having personal beliefs is very different from using your standing in the community to attack and attempt to harm other people. And any doctor should be ashamed to put their name to that “research” they put forward. Particulary Prof. Kuravilla George, who obviously has ample opportunity to know better.

    • nickandrew says:

      Note: It’s “Kuruvilla George”, frequently misspelled.

      I agree. As a psychiatrist, Kuruvilla George is familiar no doubt with the concept of peer-reviewed journals of science and has a better opportunity than the average person of familiarising himself with the scientific literature – and apparently has chosen not to do so, or is unswayed by the evidence.

      Instead, he lends his authority to moral positions which are in line with the Catholic church to which he apparently belongs. Same-sex marriage is outside his field of professional expertise (being Aged Care) but they are also contrary to his responsibilities as a board member on the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

      Fortunately, Kuruvilla George is getting some kickback for this: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news-old/victorian-psychiatrist-opposes-gay-marriage/story-fn3dxiwe-1226354167424

  43. Mike Stuchbery says:

    Fkn owned.

    • Alan says:

      I would have thought the word ‘Family’ in the organisation’s name was enough of an indication that it was a group with a fundamentalist religious agenda. These days that seems to pretty much be a given.

      • nickandrew says:

        The media doesn’t seem to have caught on to that hint yet. Or maybe they know, and don’t care, because the controversy sells more newspapers / page hits.

        What would you make of “Women’s Forum Australia” though? They’re anti-choice in the guise of supporting women. No public position on same-sex marriage though. It would be interesting to put them on the spot.

      • Matthew says:

        nickandrew, check out the submission from the Australian Family Association to the “Inquiry into the Same-Sex Relationship (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws-Superannuation) Bill 2008” (http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=legcon_ctte/same_sex_entitlements/submissions/sublist.htm number 22 under Submissions from organisations”). It’s a called the “Marriage Manifesto” (the actual link to it is here; http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=legcon_ctte/same_sex_entitlements/submissions/sub_22a.pdf ).

        And guess who has signed it? Melinda Tankard-Reist who was then the director of Australian Women’s Forum (on page 11, and gawd, have a look at the other signatories). Oddly enough when it was brought up here; http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/01/25/3415534.htm , Kristan Dooley, current Managing Director of Women’s Forum Australia replied;

        “Women’s Forum Australia has not signed any version of the National Marriage Coalition’s Marriage Manifesto, nor did Melinda Tankard Reist who was at that time a WFA Director. Our names were added as signatories without consultation. Because the issues raised about marriage in the Manifesto are not specifically women’s issues and therefore are not within the mandate of Women’s Forum Australia, at our request our names were removed from the document.”

        While it seems they were removed for one version of the document, they certainly weren’t removed from the senate submission. One also has to ask where Australian Family Association got the idea that Women’s Forum Australia would gladly sign up to it.

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