Post Images

Conversion Practices legislation

Just before Christmas the Tasmanian Government issued a consultation draft of what is being called the “Conversion Practices Bill”. Many people may be unaware of what this legislation is about. Why do we need legislation outlawing conversion practices? Indeed, what are the kinds of practices the government is looking to make illegal?

So-called anti-conversion therapy or practices legislation is a relatively recent phenomenon around the world, and has arisen through the efforts of ‘LGBTQI’ activists seeking to use the law to further advance their cause.

When most people hear the expression ‘conversion therapy or practices’ they tend to think of coercive practices where individuals are forced to undergo treatment against their will to make them become heterosexual or be conformed in their biological sex. We might think of the mental image of individuals being strapped down in a chair or gurney and forced to undergo a procedure out of some kind of horror movie.

Clearly any kind of coercive practice like this, whether related to same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria or anything else, is always and everywhere morally wrong. And there are existing laws in most if not all western nations that make it illegal to impose such practices on others.

But these kinds of coercive practices are not actually the fundamental concern of so called ‘conversion practices’ laws, rather they are far more expansive and radical, and best understood as part of an attempt to control what individuals think and believe in our society.

Those advocating for such legislation have made clear that the real purpose of such laws is to penalise any public expression that is non-affirming about same-sex attraction and gender transition. Essentially it is to make illegal public statements, or practices based on the belief, that those with same-sex attraction or seeking gender transition are in need of help or healing.

However, our modern democratic society only works because we recognise that reasonable, good people, can and do disagree on matters to do with the sexual morality and gender identity. Indeed many in our society believe that while we fully respect the dignity of all, certain sexual desires and practices are ‘disordered’ or represent a ‘dysfunction’, and are morally wrong and damage human flourishing. They would propose that it is good for the human person not to act on the basis of such desires. They would also assert that there is very good medical and scientific evidence to support such views.

Biologically the male and female reproductive organs have been made for each other and can only complete their purpose together.

To affirm this biological reality would be considered a ‘conversion practice’, as it would imply that there is only one normative expression of sexuality. It would imply that non-heterosexual sexual relationships are ‘dysfunctional’ in some way biologically. Further, stating that a biological male cannot become a female, an irrefutable biological truth, would also be considered a ‘conversion practice’, again because it could be deemed to be non-affirming of a person’s ‘self-identity’.

This kind of legislation also constitutes a fundamental attack on Christianity. It is a fundamental Christian belief that all humanity is objectively ‘broken’ or ‘damaged’ in some way by what we refer to as ‘Original Sin’. The Book of Genesis recounts the original act of disobedience by Adam and Eve against God that resulted in the loss of paradise, and our existence in this broken world.

As Christians we believe that as a result of Original Sin all human beings are really broken, subject to sin, and in need of the healing offered by Jesus Christ.

This is not just a ‘spiritual brokenness’ but an ontological brokenness in the real order of things, that impacts our desires and loves. Those who have been campaigning for such legislation would ultimately make the expression of such beliefs illegal because it does not affirm same-sex attraction and gender transitions as being good for the human person.

We can all agree that no one should be forced to undergo any coercive practice or treatment against their consent, and there are laws currently in place which make this illegal. These laws could be strengthened if necessary but as yet there is no clear evidence from any public enquiry or the experience of the police that such practices are occurring. This is not the real focus of so called ‘conversion therapy laws’. The real focus is to put in place legal penalties for those who do not publicly affirm the ‘LGBTQI’ view of the person or sexual morality.

We must fight these attempts to limit debate and disagreement between reasonable good people on such matters of sexual morality and gender, otherwise we risk the very viability of our democracy. But even more importantly we are called to proclaim and defend the truth, particularly the truth of the human person.


    One response to “Conversion Practices legislation”

    1. Mrs Walker says:

      I’m afraid of losing our democracy in Australia 🇦🇺 if reasonable people can’t debate and agree to disagree then we are all at risk of losing our identity.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *