Family First has welcomed Chris Minn’s repudiation of gay activist Alex Greenwich’s attempt to ban prayer and preaching.
The New South Wales Labor Opposition Leader yesterday joined Premier Dominic Perrottet in saying freedom to pray and preach would not be affected by the independent MP’s proposed “Gay Conversion Therapy” law if he was elected premier.
Both leaders had pledged to back Greenwich’s bill to ban practices which have no public support and don’t occur. However, his bill seeks to make it illegal for someone with unwanted same-sex attraction to voluntarily seek prayer, potentially jailing the person who responded to the request.
It also bans preaching from the Bible.
Family First-backed upper house candidate Lyle Shelton said the two leaders had now agreed to reject Greenwich’s bans on prayer and preaching.
“This is welcome but there is another clause in the bill which affects parents.
“Mr Minns and Mr Perrottet now need to assure parents they will not go to jail for protecting their children from being harmed in clinics which try to convert their gender.
“Alex Greenwich says his bill is in part based on the Victorian legislation which jails anyone, including parents, who try and talk a child out of puberty blockers, cross sex hormones or even radical surgery.
“People of faith are relieved that both political leaders have rejected Greenwich’s attempted interference in religion. Parents now need a similar assurance.
“Preaching religious, family-orientated moral values is not harmful – in fact it can be beneficial.
“Family First agrees no one should be coerced to change their sexuality or gender but stopping people from voluntarily hearing preaching or receiving prayer is gross overreach by the state.
“Most of the world’s religions uphold a voluntary moral code and it is not for the state to prescribe something different for them based on the dictates of a particular minority group.
“It is certainly not for the state to dictate that parents must allow their children to undergo experimental gender reassignment treatment,” Mr Shelton said.