Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney appealed for respectful public discussion about marriage and homosexuality in an appearance on ABC TV’s Q&A program on Monday, 10 September.

Dr Jensen, whose diocese has been criticised for a proposal to introduce a wedding vow by brides to “submit” to their husbands, came under further fire for comments about the health of gays and lesbians relative to the rest of the community in response to a question on the program about controversial comments last week by the managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Mr Jim Wallace.

The Archbishop said: ''What I want to say is that as far as I can see by trying to get to the facts, the lifespan of practising gays is significantly shorter than the ordinary so-called heterosexual man... That seems to be the case. Now what we need to do is to look at why this may be the case and we need to do it in a compassionate and objective way.''

For more, including video of the programme, see the ABC's Q&A website.

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