Bans on ‘Conversion Therapy’

Conversion Therapy. The backwards notion that you can “pray away the gay” in someone. Horrific practices have been recorded where people were subjected to fasting, extreme physical exercise, starvation, electric shocks and more. Also mild practices are recorded – counselling, group therapy and support groups.

These practices have an association with some religious groups who view homosexuality and homosexual acts as contrary to God’s teaching. I will point out that sometimes these practices are forced or coerced. As Douglas Murray points out in his book The Madness of Crowds, it is possible for some people to voluntarily seek out counselling to suppress their homosexual nature. They might be motivated by religion, a wish to live a ‘conventional’ life or desire to have a family without adopting. (NOTE: There are some people who voluntarily try to become straight. I’ve mentioned it here because it’s their right as adults to try, not because I believe it’s what they should be doing.)

What’s happening in Australia

Australia is facing the systematic introduction of near-identical bills to ban conversion therapy at a state level. For gay men, lesbians and bisexuals this seems like great news.

However the bills go much deeper. They criminalise the “conversion or suppression’ of a person’s gender identity.

How Gender Identity is going to be protected

Gender identity means a person’s gender-related identity” and may include “other expressions of gender, including dress, speech, mannerisms, names and personal preferences”

In other words – the bill protects a characteristic that has a circular definition. It adds on transient characteristics that express gender – presumably acting in a manner stereotypical of the opposite gender.

What does that mean?

It means sex will be legally replaced by gender identity. Your sexed body will not be as legally important as your self-image. The self-image for gender identity is grounded in stereotypes.

Image may contain: 2 people

When Elliot Page announced in December 2020 that he is trans (clue: used to be an accomplished actress). Memes appeared with the ironic caption “there were no signs” above images depicting Page wearing stereotypically masculine clothing: a check shirt. Page dressed in male fashion, therefore Page is a man.

In the same month we received news that transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard has announced that he will now be permanently “based in girl mode”. Izzard achieves “girl mode” by adopting feminine characteristics such as wearing makeup and heels.

When ‘woman’ and ‘man’ are defined by clothes and not bodies, there is no longer a basis for women’s rights.

What practices are banned?

The range of activities that are banned is very broad. It could range from physical torture to checking on a friend to ask “are you sure it’s not a phase”?

The bills bans “practices” that aim to “change or suppress sexual orientation or gender identity“. It lumps sexuality in with gender identity. This is logically inconsistent.

Changing a person from a male-attracted-male to a male-attracted-female converts him from homosexual to nominally heterosexual.

Not to mention that the process of transitioning from a male to a female is literally attempting to convert the male into a female.

Practices means:

  • “psychiatry or psychotherapy, consultation, treatment or therapy, or any other similar consultation, treatment or therapy;
  • “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer based practice,
  • “giving a person a referral for the purposes of a change or suppression practice”
  • which can be done “remotely (including online) or in person

This means that any person – therapist or not – can break the law by

  • providing counselling that doesn’t affirm gender identity
  • prays with a person in a way that doesn’t affirm their gender identity

Bear in mind that a gender identity is “a person’s gender-related identity” and relates to clothes and mannerisms.

What about voluntary participation?

These activities are banned when carried out “with or without the person’s consent“.

A therapist cannot counsel a person who desires to avoid homosexual behaviour. They cannot counsel a person who wishes to desist from being transgender.

Penalties

There are penalties for breaking these laws.

A commission is established by the bills to investigate and compel evidence to be produced.

Whether actively participating or simply ‘negligent‘ about knowing whether the practice is occuring, the penalties are stiff. 10 years maximum imprisonment and/or $10 000 fine.

What does this bill mean for homosexuality?

The bills abandon the traditional definition of sexuality to include homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual in favour of gender. It is now the vague statement that:

“sexual orientation means a person’s emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, or intimate or sexual relations with, persons of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender“.

The Victorian bill amends the definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. Amends the act! Sexual orientation is now gender orientation.

State of play

Queensland – bill passed

Victoria – bill passed lower house and introduced upper house 10 December 2020

ACT – bill passed 

Update 7 January 2021: consultation period in Tasmania

Who is fighting back?

Holly Lawford-Smith is a feminist academic who is vocal on this issue. Support her!

So far the party opposing these bills is the National-Liberal Party. Louise Staley MP (VIC) and Senator Claire Chandler (TAS) have spoken passionately in parliament about women’s rights and the harm that gender ideology (not trans people!) will cause to women. They are fighting for us.

You might feel uncomfortable supporting the NLP. But please support these brave and capable women.

David Southwick MP (NLP) (VIC) proposed that the bill be paused until consultation was undertaken. This wasn’t carried.

Who isn’t fighting back? The Labor party has introduced and carried these bills.

What can you do?

WRITE TO YOUR STATE MP and tell them you oppose this bill that:

  • undermines the rights of parents to support their children who may be questioning their gender or sexual orientation
  • takes away the right of people to support if they want to question their gender identity and/sexual orientation
  • it erases homosexuals by redefining sexual orientation
  • reduces womanhood and manhood to stereotypes and ‘mannerisms’

WRITE TO THE LABOUR PARTY. The Labor party has introduced these bills. Let them know you aren’t happy.

WRITE TO A SENATOR – especially if you are in Victoria. Tell them what you told the MP.

SHOW SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO ARE FIGHTING BACK. Write to these women, support them on YouTube, support them on Twitter and Facebook.

JOIN OR START A FEMINIST FACEBOOK GROUP

START A CONVERSATION

  • with your friend
  • with your hairdresser
  • the parents at the PnC
  • with anyone who will listen
  • with other women in your area

Tell them sex-based rights are going away and they will be left trying to respect rights based on feelings and mannerisms.