The Australian release of the film Boy Erased today has prompted the Australian Christian Lobby to publicly comment on conversion therapy.

Martyn Iles, managing director of the ACL said, “The overwhelming majority of Christians would never have heard of or even imagined the kind of ‘therapy’ seen in Boy Erased and would wholeheartedly condemn it.”

 “The Australian Christian Lobby is concerned that Boy Erased will give the false impression that many Christians approve of gay conversion therapy. That would be totally incorrect. Boy Erased story is tragic and we condemn what was done to Garrard Conley without reservation.”

However, Mr Iles cautioned that the ‘conversion therapy’ label was being used too loosely in political debate.

“The Australian Labor Party’s current policy platform uses the term ‘conversion therapy’ in an absurdly loose way, to potentially refer to anything less than positive affirmation.”

“The ALP policy appears to call parents ‘domestic and psychological abusers’ when they do not wholeheartedly affirm their child’s nominated gender identity or sexuality at any given time.”

“The ALP policy could only have one result if implemented: most religious parents would be targeted as abusers by the government.”

“Boy Erased-style conversion therapy ought to be condemned, but so should using such a loaded term to attack good parents who simply want to raise families consistent with their religious and moral convictions.”

“To group religious beliefs, prayer or voluntary counselling in the same category as coercion, electric shock therapy and bizarre boot camps is dishonest. It smuggles a chilling ideological agenda into the conversion therapy issue,” said Mr Iles.

The Australian Christian Lobby is currently running a campaign on parental rights, calling on the ALP to clarify their policy platform to protect millions of parents of faith who have traditional beliefs about gender and sexuality. The petition, currently 49,000 signatures strong will be presented during the Labor Party’s national conference in December 2018.