Media Release

Affirmation is Not Always Compassion

Conversion Practices Bans Limit Basic Freedom of Speech 

In recognition of the irreversible nature of puberty suppression and cross-sex hormone treatments, as well as the rising number of de-transitioners, Premier of Canada’s Alberta Province, Danielle Smith MLA, has taken a decisive step towards banning provincially funded surgeries for minors, and placing limits on gender-affirming care for children. 

Danielle Smith said, “Prematurely encouraging or enabling children to alter their very biology or natural growth, no matter how well-intentioned and sincere, poses a risk to that child’s future...”  

Commenting on the relevance for South Australia of this global shift away from affirmation therapy, Ashlyn Vice, South Australian State Director for the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), said, “Despite mounting evidence on the harms of social and medical transition for young people, South Australia appears to be doubling down on an affirmation approach. Just this week, the South Australian Labor Government took a position against an inquiry into the care being provided to children with gender dysphoria, the Premier refusing a conscience vote.” 

Vice continued, “Though reports regularly cite physically invasive forms of conversion therapy, such as ‘electroshock and corrective rape’, as motivation for conversion therapy bans, these same reports admit there is no evidence that such practices occur in Australia. Instead, conversion therapy bans clearly seek to limit the freedom of Australians of faith, who adhere to a traditional understanding of sexuality and gender, to counsel individuals according to their faith. 

“Limiting freedom of speech on issues surrounding gender dysphoria will only reinforce the outdated message that affirmation therapy is the only way. We know from the evidence being presented to jurisdictions like Alberta that a holistic approach to gender dysphoria is necessary”, Ashlyn Vice concluded.  

The ACL calls on the South Australian Government to guarantee the protection of freedom of speech regarding traditional views on gender and examine the growing body of evidence on the harms of affirmation therapy.  

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