FUSE57 — True love stories never have endings
Gay marriage, religious freedom and conversion therapy
In December last year, Australia officially become the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage after an indisputable win in the Federal Parliament. Most of us thought that this meant that the rights of LGBTIQ people would finally be respected — sadly this has not happened.
Over the past few months, Christian fundamentalists have been pushing to water down discrimination laws in the name of “religious freedoms”, attacking the rights of trans people and even openly discussing the merits of ‘gay conversion therapy’.
It started the moment Australia overwhelmingly said yes to marriage equality with religious conservatives like David van Gend from the ‘Australian Marriage Forum — Think of the Child’ releasing a statement saying:
“We accept that same-sex marriage will now become legal, but it will only be a legal fiction. It will forever remain untrue, unjust and unnecessary. Untrue to nature and timeless culture; unjust to those future children who will now be compelled, by an Act of Parliament, to miss out on their mother or father; unnecessary, since same-sex couples already have the same legal status and benefits as any other couple in Australian law.”
Unfortunately organisations like ‘Australian Marriage Forum’ and ‘The Coalition for Marriage’ are still blindly convinced that marriage equality puts children, freedom of speech and religious liberties at risk — even though the majority of Australian disagree and there is absolutely no evidence supporting this belief.
David van Gend further stated, “We will now do what we can to guard against restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion, to defend parents’ rights, and to protect Australian kids from being exposed to radical LGBTIQ sex and gender education in the classrooms.”
Even more bizarre is that conservative individuals have again been discussing the merits of ‘gay conversion therapy’ — and this has really shocked Australians.
I’m not sure what they expected, but the shit really did hit the fan when this made news headlines, and it has now been revealed that gay conversion practices — cloaked in the terminology of “self-improvement” or “spiritual healing” — has been hidden in evangelical churches and ministries, taking the form of exorcisms, prayer groups or counselling disguised as pastoral care.
The good news, of course, is this has exposed this heinous practice and within weeks of it making headlines both the Victorian and ACT Governments have made moves to ban the practice entirely.
It’s disappointing that we still have to battle so all people to have the fundamental right to exist as they are, and sadly we can’t rest just yet.