The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed changes to the Australian Labor Party’s platform on so-called 'LGBT conversion therapy.'

An amendment was moved at the ALP National Conference in Adelaide today which saw the party’s commitment to criminalise conversion therapy watered down. 

ACL’s managing director, Martyn Iles, said, “The ALP’s decision to back away from criminalising LGBT conversion therapies is welcome news to religious communities and parents.” 

“There are no Christian communities in Australia in 2018 who are engaged in coercive, abusive, or otherwise demeaning practises. The recent suggestion by Equality Australia that such practises are ‘pervasive’ is simply untrue.” 

“Religious communities and parents are nonetheless relieved because nobody quite knows what ‘conversion therapy’ means once written into policy.” 

“The ALP’s previous platform expanded the term to include mere claims that sexual orientation or gender identity can change. It singled out religious communities who make such claims and said parents who did the same could be deemed domestic and psychological abusers.” 

“The themes of conversion and change are foundational to the Christian gospel as it applies to all people, regardless of their identity or personal attributes. 

“ACL therefore welcomes the removal of those clauses which covered criminalisation, parents’ rights, religious communities and mere speech.” 

“ACL has single-handedly raised the alarm on what would have been a dangerous policy for parents, counsellors and even medical practitioners with a faith identity. 

“We welcome the ALP’s response on this issue but acknowledge there is more work to do on mutual understanding around it.” 

The ACL petition which was created in the lead-up to the ALP’s National Conference yesterday received almost 60,000 signatures from Australians who want to ensure parents are not criminalised for wanting to affirm their child’s biological gender.