The ACT government chastised a school yesterday for making parents aware of the government’s authoritarian anti-conversion bill. The Australian Christian Lobby laments that the government is focusing pre-election energy on attacking the traditions and lifestyles of working-class families and people of faith.
This bill cancels parents’ rights to teach their children their beliefs in the home, and through their school of choice. Our legal advice is that a parent counselling their male 5-year-old child that he is a boy, when he wants to be a girl, could be subject to criminal proceedings.
A faith-based school that teaches there are two genders could end up before the Human Rights Commission.
This school was doing a service to the community by raising awareness about the bill, given 85% of Canberrans had no idea the bill was being rushed through parliament before the election. 75% of those surveyed did not support the changes.
School parents sign up and sacrifice to give their children a quality education in a safe, supportive environment for their family traditions and beliefs. The anti-conversion bill is drafted poorly and in such a sweeping, authoritarian way that it affects the core business and ethos of many schools. Such schools would not be true to their ethos if it did not alert parents to its impact.
The ACT government needs to stop the heavy-handed tactics and show it is in touch with everyday Canberrans.