by Ethan Huff
Once signed by the Victoria governor-general for royal assent, new legislation passed by the Victorian parliament in Australia will prohibit anything other than full affirmation for child transgenderism.
Known as “Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition,” the bill will make it illegal to try to change or suppress a person’s perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, even if that person seeks out treatment and consents to it.
Similar to a bill passed in Queensland last year, the Victorian legislation prohibits all “harmful practices” that might offend someone in the LGBTQP community.
Such practices include “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer-based practice, a deliverance practice or an exorcism.”
Violators of the law, which will take 12 months to come into effect, could face penalties that include fines of up to $200,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
Even a priest merely praying for his parishioner might be deemed as an offender, which is what prompted Monica Doumit, the Director of Public Affairs for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, to write a column for The Catholic Weekly about how the new law will impact people of faith.
“A parent whose five year old son was insisting that he was a girl would be prevented from seeking any help – medical, psychological, behavioural, spiritual, social or otherwise – to assist their son in understanding and accepting that he was a boy,” she writes. “Anything less than affirmation of him as a girl would be prohibited.”
Victorian government ignores research proving “life-saving benefits” of counseling for gender dysphoria
Doumit goes on to explain that mental health interventions will also be prohibited, forcing those who are suffering from unwanted gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction to fend for themselves.
“Christian teenagers who had committed themselves to saving sexual activity for marriage would be prohibited from gathering together to support each other to remain faithful to their commitment to chastity,” Doumit further warns.
“Not only would Courage, a ministry for those Catholics experiencing same-sex attraction but who want to live chastely in accordance with their religious beliefs be banned, the teaching of Theology of the Body would not be allowed, and it is even possible that preaching the same verse from Corinthians that got [Australian Rugby star] Israel Folau sacked could get a cleric imprisoned.”
A religious man who is tempted to cheat on his wife would likewise be prohibited from seeking out the counsel of his priest or minister. The same goes for a psychologist who might try to “convert” a pedophile away from preying on innocent children.
Perhaps the saddest element of the legislation is the total prohibition on those suffering from unwanted LGBTQP attractions from seeking out help.
Many former LGBTQPs say the counsel they received was invaluable in helping them to heal and live the lives they actually wanted to live.
“Ten years ago I voluntarily sought counsel from Christian psychologists, ministries, support networks and people who had walked before me,” says Leah Gray, a self-identified ex-lesbian who was helped as a gender dysphoric child by the resources and ministries that Victorian politicians are trying to abolish.
“It was difficult, but I found relief and happiness. Every step of my journey will become illegal under the Victorian government’s [bill].”
Gray says none of the avenues of support she sought and benefited from were in any way “harmful or coercive.”
“In fact, the counselling I received saved my life,” she says.
“Ex-LGBT people like me are living proof that real and lasting change is possible, that suicides have been prevented, and that it is good for people to have the freedom to choose the type of help and support they want – including (shock horror) the religious kind.”