The Victorian government’s Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 was passed last week by the upper house, 27 votes to 9. Not one of the reasoned amendments were passed, which leaves parents with children who are exploring their gender identity and, doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists who provide medical care for these children, at risk of complaints of change or suppression practice if they do not affirm and support gender transition. Children and young people presenting with gender dysphoria are left with only one treatment option – to transition gender. Prohibited actions under the Bill include “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer-based practice”. The prohibition applies whether or not the subject consented to the prayer-based activity. The penalty is up to 10 years’ in jail or an enormous fine.

It is also of serious concern for any Australian writing, discussing, teaching or debating ideas and theories around sexuality, gender, transgenderism or biological sex. The concerns of the Victorian AMA, the RANZCP and the Law Institute of Victoria as well as of faith leaders were ignored. The Bill was also opposed by gay & lesbian groups, feminist legal centres among others. The Andrews government failed to listen to any voice of concern. Only two Liberal/National Party members voted against the bill with all others supporting the Labor Party in voting the Bill into law. In addition to the two Liberal members others who voted against the Bill were the Shooters & Fishers, the Derryn Hinch Justice Party (2), Sustainable Australia, the Liberal Democrats (2) and one Independent.

Source: Australian Family Association

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