Nurses back marriage equality Yes vote as part of a push to stop discrimination | Video

COLOURFUL: Lilian Booth, Vivien Harris, Megan Rowlands, Archer Rowlands, Sasha Pauline and Kylie Fisher outside Orange hospital on Friday. Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS 0922dfrally2
COLOURFUL: Lilian Booth, Vivien Harris, Megan Rowlands, Archer Rowlands, Sasha Pauline and Kylie Fisher outside Orange hospital on Friday. Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS 0922dfrally2

Orange nurses and supporters have thrown their support behind the Yes vote in the marriage equality debate.

A handful displayed their rainbow colours outside Orange hospital on Friday.

However spokeswoman Katrina Lee said they represented many more nurses who couldn’t attend due to work commitments.

Ms Lee, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association [NSWNMA] organiser for the western and far western health districts, said the state organisation and local branches supported the Yes vote in the national postal vote.

She said they wanted people in Orange to back the campaign.

“In the metro areas there seems to be a lot of action around the Yes vote,” she said.

“I don’t think we’re seeing it so much in the regional areas which is a little disappointing.”

Ms Lee said they were opposed to people being discriminated on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

“As nurses we can’t discriminate when you are caring for someone.

“We just want to make a stand, it is important that the nurses have a voice.

“Many of them couldn’t make it here because they are working.

“Emotionally they are here.”

She said social issues were important for her members.

“Part of the union’s values is around our codes of conduct and codes of ethics and it’s really important that we do look back to those.

“They are part of our registration and the requirements are to lobby governments on social issues.

“We know that the LBGTI community are discriminated against every day and this is a chance for us to come out publically and support them and say ‘everybody’s welcome and entitled to health care, it doesn’t matter who you are’.”

Ms Lee said discrimination could lead to mental health issues that cost the whole community.

“There are lots of literature studies out there actually showing that the suicide rate of young people, the depression out there, the whole gamut of the older person whose living with this type of discrimination causes a great deal of health costs to the public,” she said.