ACT’s Barr government ‘anti-conversion’ bill – tabled today – potentially turns parents, teachers, and pastors, into criminals if they teach a traditional view of sexuality.
“The Australian Christian Lobby condemns coercive or abusive conversion practices towards people identifying as LGBT,” ACL spokesman Dan Flynn said, “The ACL is unaware that they are occurring in Australia, or that any group, religious or otherwise, is advancing them.”
“However, the definition of ‘conversion practices’ in the bill is so broad that it will criminalise behaviour far beyond coercive practices.
“For example, parents who seek to confirm a gender-confused child in their birth sex could face 12 months imprisonment under the bill.
“The government’s proposed bans will also have implications for the teaching of scripture in churches and religious schools. Faith-based teaching to children that encourages a biblical view of marriage and gender could result in criminal charges if anyone took the view that such teaching was intended to change that person’s sexuality or gender identity.
“This low threshold would empower activists to torment church and faith-based school communities with threats of prosecution and litigation.
“Parents will be alarmed to know that the government is saying that the bill is deliberately designed to limit:
“the rights of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of a child in conformity with their convictions.”
With just 2 sitting days and 66 calendar days until the Territory election, the Australian Christian Lobby calls on the Legislative Assembly to reject any attempt to pass the bill before parliament rises.