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Dozens Rally In Victoria Because They Want Gay Conversion Therapy To Stay

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Dozens Rally In Victoria Because They Want Gay Conversion Therapy To Stay

Dozens of people gathered on the steps of Victoria's Parliament to protest against the government's bill to ban gay conversion therapy.

It was announced last year the unproven treatment would be eradicated from Victoria.

The piece of legislation looks set to pass through the Upper House thanks to support from three crossbench MPs.

However, as the bill was being debated, there were plenty of people trying to make their voices heard outside.

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ABC State Political reporter Bridget Rollason shared a photo of the dozens of people who had gathered to protest against the decision to outlaw a therapy that has been shown to cause long lasting harm to children and young people.

They held signs that said 'Hey Dan, hands off my parenting' and 'Protect parental rights'.

The bill being proposed won't affect how a mother or father chooses to raise their LGBTQIA+ child and they are allowed to be as conservative as they like, as long as it's legal.

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The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 will instead empower the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to investigate reports of conversion practices.

Under the proposed laws, organisers of therapies that try to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity and cause injury would face up to 10 years jail.

Advertising the practices would also incur a criminal penalty and a maximum fine of almost $10,000.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Several religious leaders have raised concerns about the legislation, including Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli and Bishop Brad Billings of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Bishop Billings said in a statement to AAP: "[The bill] has some potentially serious unintended consequences in respect to fundamental human rights such as the freedom of speech, the protection of religious belief and freedom of conscience.

"It potentially criminalises the provision of pastoral care and may limit the ability of parents to guide their children."

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But, these concerns have been slammed by Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam as 'homophobic'.

"It's hard to fathom that we're even debating this matter in this parliament because it implies that there are valid arguments on either side of this debate when clearly there aren't," she said.

"This bill is about freedom for all, not just a selected few who feel that their religion trumps other people's lives."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: LGBT, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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