Professor Kerryn Phelps reveals her healthy steps in Ultimate Wellness: The Three-Step Plan. Photo: Jon Reid
Former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps says it is unconscionable for politicians to block the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Dr Phelps also criticised an exemption for religious groups in proposed anti-discrimination laws. The exemption would effectively allow church agencies to continue refuse to employ people based on their sexual orientation.
Dr Phelps praised US President Barack Obama for discussing gay rights during his inauguration speech last week and said it was inevitable same-sex marriage would be legalised in Australia.
"It's still inevitable it's just a matter of time,'' Dr Phelps said. "I think Obama put our leaders to shame the other day. And I think part of our entire society's wellness is to eliminate discrimination in all forms.
"I don't think we should settle for second best when it comes to anti-discrimination legislation and I don't think there should be an exemption.''
Dr Phelps and her partner Jackie Stricker-Phelps married in the US but the marriage is not legally recognised in Australia.
In his inauguration speech last week, Mr Obama said: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law; for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.''
Dr Phelps said she was disappointed that politicians had failed to follow the will of a majority of Australians by legislating to permit same-sex marriages.
"I just think that politicians continuing to obstruct is unconscionable. They're there to represent the electorate and they're not doing it,'' she said.
Promoting her new book, Ultimate Wellness, The Three Step Plan, Dr Phelps said she had no regrets about declining past suggestions to stand for Parliament.