Victoria’s Catholic bishops and Muslim leaders have added their voices to growing concern over so-called gay conversion therapy laws being debated in the state’s Parliament. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
The Catholic bishops of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria have written an open letter to Premier Daniel Andrews seeking an urgent “pause” on the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 which could be brought before the Legislative Council this week.
In the letter, the bishops, along with the President of the Islamic Council of Victoria Mohamed Mohideen, express their concerns with the bill’s overreach, saying that it risks criminalising conversations between children and parents, interferes with sound professional advice, and silences ministers of religion from providing personal attention for individuals freely seeking pastoral care for complex personal situations.
“Unfortunately, this bill doesn’t just ban out-dated and insidious practices of coercion and harm, which we firmly reject,” the letter states. “It includes ill-conceived concepts of faith and conversation, vague definitions, and scientifically and medically flawed approaches. It places arbitrary limitations on parents, families and people of faith.”
“People change for all kinds of reasons, and should feel free to do so, whether it be on matters of personal identity, gender, sexuality, family association, or religion. Contrary to its intent, this bill obstructs people’s freedom by limiting, restricting and removing options for their good, thereby creating undesirable possibilities of harm.”
The letter also laments the lack of adequate consultation, which if given, they say would have enabled them to give full support to a focused and practical way to protect people from harm.
Faith leaders write to Premier over concerns with the Conversion Therapy Bill (Melbourne Catholic)
Dear Daniel Andrews, please change your conversion bill (Eternity News)