Ban LGBT+ Conversion Therapy Now!

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Dear Member of Victorian Parliament,

Please Support the Change or Suppression Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill 2020

Some years ago, I was psychologically tortured and gaslit by religious therapists who advocated various forms of LGBT+ conversion therapy.

None of these people was a qualified psychologist or medical practitioner.

None of the religious communities or individuals who promoted this practice did so from a medically or scientifically informed background.

I ask that you please ensure that such misinformed individuals and practices are no longer tolerated in a society that protects human life and human dignity.

Please follow the science and the principles of human rights. Please support the Victorian Bill to outlaw LGBTQ+ conversion practices.

I appreciate that this legislation (like all legislation) has various nuances and considerations, and I welcome your assurance of consideration. However, I do not accept the arguments being offered to you that this Bill goes ‘too far’ in curbing religious expression or parental rights – it merely bans the right to abuse the human rights of vulnerable people.

Using similar arguments, extremist men’s rights groups might argue against legislation which bans family violence on the grounds that such legislation goes ‘too far’ by curbing their rights to express their masculinity, or white supremacists might argue that anti-discrimination laws go ‘too far’ by stopping them from mistreating others whom they believe to be inferior.

I trust that you agree: nobody should have the right to mistreat others based upon any claim of presumed superiority, or based upon faith rather than science – especially when they openly admit that their views are informed by pre-scientific religious texts rather than by modern scientific knowledge:

Our deeply held and unchanging beliefs are firmly rooted in each religious community’s’ respective Holy Books and Oral Traditions which provide contrary constructs to those imposed by the Bill.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) makes it clear that freedom of thought and belief is paramount, and that people are certainly within their rights to believe whatsoever they choose. However, the UDHR also specifies that such a right – like all other human rights – must be proscribed in order to prevent expression of those beliefs having a negative impact upon the lives, rights and welfare of others. We already proscribe such beliefs – we do not allow religious people to burn witches or engage in female genital mutilation, nor do we allow parents to mistreat their children.

I respectfully ask you to please support the LGBT+ Conversion Bill and to disregard those people who argue that they should have the right to continue abusing the human rights and welfare of vulnerable people under the pretence of religious freedom or parental rights.

Thank you very much for your continued and ongoing considerations to ensure that you exercise your vote conscientiously and responsibly in order to protect the human rights of Victorians and to make a difference in bringing about a better society for all people.

©2021 Geoff Allshorn

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