Schools in Western Australia would undoubtedly have seen recent media coverage, “Albany Baptist Church pushes ahead with ‘gay conversion therapy’ event despite backlash from LGBT community“, “‘Gay conversion therapy roadshow’ hits WA churches with ‘reformed’ gay man at the helm” and “Albany church under fire for event promoting ‘hope, vision and dignity beyond LGBTQ+ ideologies’“, following an event featuring speakers who have ‘previously lived or identified as LGBTQ+, but who are now finding a new life in Jesus Christ’ according to the organiser. The organiser, James Parker, writing that “LGBTQ Activists Protested An Event They Knew Nothing About“.
LGBTI activists have used the event to claim that ‘conversion therapy’ is still occurring in Western Australia and calling on the Premier to introduce bans modeled on the controversial Victorian legislation, which includes penalties of up to 10 years jail or $10,000 in fines.
The McGowan Government has previously committed to adopting the National Code for unregulated health workers to address this issue, although has indicated some openness to Victorian style legislation.
CSA has recently written to the Premier, Mark McGowan indicating that we “share the Government’s desire to see oppressive and coercive gay conversion therapy banned” and going on to “support the Government’s proposals to address this issue through the implementation of the National Code of Conduct for unregulated health care workers“.
We also point out that:
"You would understand that Christian school leaders will be very focussed on the dangers of legislation creating confusion, and possibly even criminalisation, regarding:
- the exploration of faith-based sexual and other ethical questions through teaching and discussion with students,
- conduct by parents and guardians responding to questions, and perhaps even confusion, experienced by their children, regarding sexuality or gender, and
- the provision of pastoral care and support focussing on the best interests of the child by school staff."
and offer to "work with your Government to find an evidence-based solution that protects all West Australians".
A copy of the full letter is available below.
Letter to WA Premier - 4 June 2021