Last Thursday the ACT Legislative Assembly passed legislation under the pretext of banning 'gender conversion therapy'.
What this law in fact does is restrict parents' rights to raise their children in accordance with orthodox biblical teaching. Further, it prevents church leaders from requiring adherence to biblical standards in areas of sexual standards and ethics.
Thank you to ACL supporters who called and wrote to members of the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Your advocacy for the rights of parents, teachers and faith-based communities was very important in this debate.
Unfortunately, the ALP/Greens Government’s 14 MPs outvoted the Liberal Opposition’s 11 MPs and the Sexual & Gender Identity Conversion Practices Bill passed. I know you will be disappointed by this outcome, but I want you to know that your contribution was vital.
Under pressure from constituents like you, the government made a minor amendment which indicated that “mere expression of a religious tenet or belief” will not be a banned conversion therapy practice.
You will be pleased to hear that Alistair Coe, the leader of the Canberra Liberals, proposed 2 important amendments in an attempt to improve the Bill.
One was an amendment to exclude parents, teachers and counsellors from the application of the criminal provisions of the Bill and the other an amendment to protect faith-based schools and churches.
When those amendments were defeated, The Canberra Liberals then took a principled stand and voted against the Bill. They should be congratulated for this!
Your efforts strengthened the Liberal Party’s opposition to the Bill.
For those that are still catching up, here is what this Bill is about, best contained in this legal advice from the Human Rights Law Alliance.
Thousands of ACL supporters in the ACT sent 10,000 emails and made 1,000 calls to local members, voicing opposition to this dangerous law.
As well as making this an important election issue in the ACT election, we have raised understanding of this issue, at a national level, like never before. This would not have happened without the courage and commitment of so many ACL supporters in the ACT and beyond.