Gay marriage is more harmful for the health than smoking, according to the head of a Christian political lobby in Australia.
The head of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Jim Wallace, said that health statistics among the gay community were worse than those for smokers.
Wallace's remarks came in a debate on marriage equality at the University of Tasmania, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"I think we're going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community's own statistics for its health - which it presents when it wants more money for health, are that is has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years," the paper quoted him, as saying.
According to the report, Wallace further said legalising same-sex marriage in other countries had not reduced risk factors for gay people.
"Where gay marriage has been introduced, or civil unions, it hasn't changed the level of suicide," Wallace said.
"We have to accept the unfortunate levels of suicide, the unfortunate levels of excessive drug use (are) because of the nature of the lifestyle," he said
"I am very sorry for that. My heart goes out to those people. But it is a fact," he added.