When a previous deputy prime minister of 35 years’ political experience says, “The law before the Victorian parliament seeking to outlaw parental, therapeutic or religious discussions on issues of sexuality and gender is the biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history,” should we not, at the very least, pause?
This is not left versus right, nor Labor against Liberal. This is a time to be united in our efforts to look after our vulnerable friends and family. We are all in this together, to coin a current phrase, but this legislation will harm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
This legislation will limit their liberty and autonomy by closing avenues currently available to them. This legislation uses a sledgehammer, where a conversation and some tweaks to current laws would suffice.
The Change or Suppression Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill must be debated and consulted. It is far more serious and sensitive an issue than Daniel Andrews has credited.
Since he has the power of both the Upper and Lower Houses, he has reduced this issue down to an unrefined, unsophisticated, uninformed process and rushed it through.
It has not been discussed, let alone debated. It is utterly uninformed. No evidence has been presented for the argument that such a law is required. None.
Will we, as Victorians, honestly allow such thoughtless governance?
You would expect that an adult struggling with his or her gender, thinking about transitioning and seeking counselling, would be allowed to have a free, open, and honest conversation.
Life-changing medical or surgical intervention relating to gender re-assignment should not proceed without appropriate counselling. We also expect as adults to have autonomy over our own lives on such personal issues. You would not expect a distant government to interfere in such an intimate conversation.
However, this legislation prohibits any conversation with any person which suggest re-thinking gender transitioning. Do not misread that last sentence.
A psychologist, paediatrician, GP, minister, counsellor, parent or friend will be prohibited from having this conversation under threat of criminal penalties.
The consequences of gender transitioning are lifelong and sometimes it may be the best choice, but why won’t Daniel Andrews allow us to simply talk it through?
What about children? Is it really that serious if a four-year-old boy wants to be a girl, insists on it and has always felt that way? Should the adults in his life affirm his choice? Well, maybe; but let us have the conversation.
Daniel Andrews wants us, in 100% of cases, to affirm the child or go to jail. Under the new legislation, we will not be allowed to discover the pros and cons of gender transitioning, only the pros; a conversation suggesting any negative aspects of transitioning would become illegal.
Do not put me in jail for seeking the best outcome for my child. The child who became my responsibility as soon as he was conceived.
I live with my children, know them, love them and don’t need the state to intrude on how I raise, nurture and protect the welfare and best interests of them.
I don’t expect to be fined up to $198,264 or to be imprisoned for 10 years for guiding my four-year-old with a penis into boyhood and towards manhood.
Finally, you and I are the government. You and I voted them in to represent us, so we must take action on this.
- Do not allow the State Government to stop an adult LGBTQ person having authority over his or her own life.
- Do not allow the State Government to undermine the mental health and well-being of our children and criminalise parents for doing their job.
- Do not allow the State government to prohibit a GP or minister of religion having a free conversation with an adult struggling with his or her sexuality.
This bill oppresses and infringes upon every one of us. If it passes in the Upper House next Tuesday 2 February 2020, Victoria will change unreasonably, unnecessarily, and unjustly.