Conversion Therapy survivor Chris Csabs sent a petition with almost 43,000 names on it to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, opposition leader Bill Shorten and other parlliamentarians on Wear It Purple Day, calling for a nationwide ban on conversion therapy.
The SOCE - Survivors Of Change Efforts - Survivor Statement which accompanied the petition offers a number of recommendations to tackle the expanding and increasingly underground use of conversion therapy in Australia and has been endorsed by Amnesty International Australia, PFLAG and many other community organisations.
The statement says that conversion therapy victims “have endured and survived a system which dehumanised and shamed them, despite their sense of deep devotion and connection to their faith community''. It calls on “our elected representatives to play their part in openly challenging the deadly ideology that has been allowed to proliferate in Australia’s diverse religious community.”
On Monday, Morrison was asked by 3AW's Neil Mitchell for his opinion on conversion therapy and the evangelical Christian Prime Minister answered that "It's not an issue I'm focused on at all."
“I respect people of all sexualities, I respect people of all religions, all faiths. I love all Australians. People should make their own choices about their lives.”
“I’ve never been involved in anything like that, I’ve never supported anything like that, it’s just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue.”
Csab responded to the Prime Minister by telling Fairfax Media that “He should care because the ‘gay conversion’ movement is harmful. It is killing people and there is nothing Christian about that.”
Image Credit: Chris Csab courtesy of Chris Csab Facebook
Greens Senator Janet Rice has been leading the push to have conversion therapy banned in Australia and the Labor Party announced earlier this year that it will outlaw conversion therapy if it wins the next election. However, the coalition government has so far refused to take action against the discredited and unethical practice.
“The new Prime Minister Scott Morrison must come out and commit to stamping out harmful conversion therapy,” Greens senator Janet Rice said in a statement on Monday.
“The basic premise of conversion therapy and sexual orientation change efforts is that LGBTIQ people can and must be changed, rather than being perfect and accepted for who they are.”
“All LGBTIQ people should be able to practice faith without pressure to change or suppress their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
“The Prime Minister must come out and work with survivors, the community and the Greens to ban these practices in Australia.”
“So far I am the only parliamentarian to sign the SOCE survivor statement. I call on parliamentarians from other parties to join me and affirm this important statement.”