Christian lobbyists fighting to keep gay ‘cure’ therapy legal

The Australian Christian Lobby has hit out at a proposed ban on conversion therapy.

The Christian lobbying group, which is strongly opposed to LGBT rights, hit out at Australia’s opposition Labor Party over what it claims is a “hidden” pledge to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy.

The draft of the Labor Party’s policy platform states: “Labor opposes the practice of so-called conversion and reparative therapies on LGBTIQ+ people and seek to criminalise these practices.”

Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality or gender identity are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful, and governments across the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down.

Attempts to force teens to repress their true selves have been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

But the Australian Christian Lobby has vowed to fight the changes.

In a mailout to supporters, the group scare-mongered about the impact of the proposal, claiming it is ” radical, extreme material.”

The ACL, which previously played up fears over transgender people during the country’s same-sex marriage plebiscite, appears to be gunning for the same tactic.

Managing director Martyn Iles claimed:  “It means that if your son comes home one day from his Labor-sponsored ‘Safe School’ and tells you he wants to become a girl, you must support that decision and attempt to facilitate it.

“Discouraging your son from transitioning to a girl, arranging for prayer or counselling to affirm his biological gender would be a criminal offence and domestic abuse under a Labor government.

“‘Safe Schools’ and Labor’s proposed criminalisation of counselling that affirms biology are just another attack on the rights of parents who don’t want to see their kids brainwashed by Labor’s rainbow brigade.

“Let me be clear. Under Labor’s proposed new laws, Christian parents will become criminals and domestic abusers simply for affirming that their sons are boys and their daughters are girls.”

Despite claims the pledge was “hidden”, like most of civilised society the Labor Party has made no secret of its opposition to the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

The ACL previously attracted anger opposed the removal of the so-called ‘gay panic’ defence – which allows murderers to blame gay victims for violent crimes.

The defence – which allows criminals to get more lenient sentences after violent murders – is based around the suggestion that a perpetrator was “panicked” into committing a violent crime due to an unwanted advance from a gay person.

The law has been removed from the statute books across most of Australia, with Queensland and South Australia only jurisdictions that continue to permit the defence.

The government of Queensland is making moves to repeal the section of the Criminal Code that lowers the sentence  for crimes committed in “the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation” from a homosexual advance.

But the Australian Christian Lobby has made a submission to an inquiry on the issue, incorrectly claiming that the removal of the gay panic defence would actually allow men to get away with rape.

Former ACL chief Lyle Shelton

Former ACL chief Lyle Shelton

The ACL claimed during last year’s plebiscite that schools will enforce “radical gay sex education” if people vote for same-sex marriage.

The group claimed in a mailout: “Changing the marriage law to allow same-sex couples to marry will mean taking gender out of our laws.

“Radical gay sex education programs will become more widespread and compulsory as it has overseas.

“If you are concerned about your rights as a parent, or radical gay sex education in classrooms. ITS [sic] OK TO VOTE NO.”