A fact check of the Australian Christian Lobby’s campaign to protect parental rights has confirmed Tasmanians are right to fear a legislative ban on “conversion practices” planned by the Rockliff Government.
The fact check itself details the circumstances in which the rights of parents are undermined.
A contributor to the fact check, Wayne Morgan, a law expert at the Australian National University, said:
The TRLI, quite rightly in my opinion, decided not to recommend limiting the entire scope of what would become unlawful conversion practices so as to always exclude any action by a parent.
Dr Brendan Gogarty, an author of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute report on sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices, and contributor to the AAP fact check confirmed this. He said:
The report makes clear the law does not currently, and should not in the future, provide absolute protection for parents.
Dr Gogarty went on to say that parents would commit an offence under the law if they treated a child “like they have a mental disorder when they don’t”, which he likened to what the UN has described as “tantamount to torture”.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director, Christopher Brohier said that these statements from supporters of the TLRI recommendations reveal the extent to which parental rights are threatened by the recommendations and any legislation based on them.
“TRLI author Dr Gogarty says that there is a ‘very high threshold’, but then puts parents on notice about referring their dysphoric children to a psychiatrist,” he said.
“Dr Gogarty is explicit in his message to parents.
“So where does that leave a Tasmanian parent who thinks that their gender dysphoric daughter should see a psychiatrist rather than have surgery to remove her breasts?”
Mr Brohier said on Dr Gogarty’s analysis, a parent would most likely be breaking the law for sending such a child to a psychiatrist.
“This is an alarmingly low threshold for parents whose child has gender dysphoria,” he said.
“There is no comfort in the comments that parents acting in the best interest of the child will not be convicted of a crime.
“Who defines the best interests of the child? The parents, the child or the activists wanting to put the child on the path of gender transition?”
The AAP fact check reveals as incorrect claims by lgbt activists that the rights of parents would not be affected.
In a November ABC report this statement was attributed to Equality Australia: “The group's president …said the laws would not infringe on the rights of Tasmanian parents.”
The AAP fact check shows that the Equality Australia assurance is just plain wrong.
“The politicians and activists pushing for these unnecessary laws have been caught out trying to fool the people of Tasmania,” Mr Brohier said.
“We call on the Rockliff Liberal Government to be up front with its intentions, and to make it clear that parents will not be included in any legislation it proposes.”