It’s 2018, and gay marriage is (finally) legalised. Yet unfortunately homophobia is still kicking around within the far right conservative branch of the Victorian Liberal party.
According to several news sources from The Age, to the Sydney Morning Herald, some members of the Coalition party wants Australia to revert back to the 19th century because apparently, they didn’t get the memo that, ya know, gay people are normal people and not some diseased, sinful, mistake society needs to change.
According to an investigation by Fairfax media led by Farrah Tomazin, conversion therapy is on the table and seems to be considered by some as a viable option for parents with gay kids. As a gay man myself who has struggled so much and so hard with my own sexuality, I can say for sure that a government body even considering or even uttering the words “conversion” frightens me to no end. Not only has it been condemned as “harmful” to try to convert a person’s gender attraction by therapy, and essentially dismissed by the entire scientific community as illegitimate (see here, and here). The harmful effect of it is enough to scar a child for life, that is, if they didn’t commit suicide from the guilt, shame, and fear being instilled into them through this torture tactic.
So, it’s particularly scary that a major party would even consider a position supporting conversion therapy. Other motions, as reported by The Age include removing sexual orientation from the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act which would weaken and put an already extremely vulnerable marginalised group at risk of more abuse. There are also talks about reducing the discrimination act to just contain the words “man” and “woman” so that there’s not even a space for transgender individuals to be protected. Furthermore, there’s a call to ban the Safe Schools program, and discussions of banning of any curriculum that teaches students about transgender issues.
Although the motion was ultimately pulled by Michael Kroger, it’s still extremely disturbing that government officials would even consider putting out a policy that would basically call for the law to be changed to ensure doctors “can offer to counsel out of same-sex attraction or gender transitioning”. As reported by Farrah Tomazin and other reporters at The Age, the proposal was penned by a Young Liberal branch with ties to to veteran federal MP Kevin Andrews.
This isn’t about one’s right to express an opinion, this is about putting the lives of vulnerable and scared queer youths on the line because some people’s views are still stuck in the past. It seems that even though the country came to the conclusion that there’s nothing wrong with gays being married, some homophobes from all levels of society deem it their god given right to continue to make life harder for us.
Seriously, enough is enough.