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Archbishop_PeterThe controversial claims by some Christian leaders that gay men die younger than heterosexual men appear to have originated from flawed US research that was funded by a Christian research group.

Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, drew strong criticism for comments on ABC TV’s Q&A on Monday night that the gay lifestyle led to a “significantly shorter life”.

He was responding to comments by the Australian Christian Lobby chief, Jim Wallace, that a homosexual lifestyle was as unhealthy as smoking.

One of several studies by Paul Cameron and his son, Kirk, of the Family Research Institute in Colorado in the United States – which claims its ”overriding mission is to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy and drug abuse” – concluded heterosexual men outlived gay men by 20 years.

The study has been criticised for its lack of academic rigour. It was partly based on lifespan estimates of men and women and gays and lesbians from obituaries in several US newspapers.

Dr Jensen yesterday stood firm on the claims he made on Monday night’s program saying the facts needed to be established.

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