Distraught parents in the Australian state of Victoria fear prosecution if they do not encourage their children’s gender confusion.
Six months after the state’s conversion therapy ban came into effect, parents say they feel powerless to step in while their children are subjected to radical transgender ideology encouraged by elected officials.
Let Us Pray, which campaigns against a broad conversion therapy ban, said it should be a warning to the UK.
Under the Act, parents are not allowed to suggest further reflection for their children before starting gender transition, as a ‘wait and see’ approach is an offence.
Delaying puberty-blocking drugs or seeking help other than ‘affirming’ services, even in another state, are also illegal.
One mother told the Daily Mail Australia: “I’m fearful if we say the wrong thing someone could contact Child Protection Services and accuse us of abusing her and remove her from our care.”
Another told the newspaper that she was unable to find someone willing to address her daughter’s mental health and autism, rather than just affirm her gender dysphoria.
Dr Dianna Kenny, a former professor of psychology at the University of Sydney, said there has been a steady flow of parents from Victoria contacting her for help since the legislation was passed.
University of Queensland Law professor Patrick Parkinson also warned:
“The law is highly damaging to the wellbeing of some children, particularly because it discourages clinicians from engaging with children suffering from gender dysphoria or gender incongruence and could deprive them of the help they most need.”
Professor Parkinson called the legislation “quite extraordinary – based on ideology and a falsehood”.
Leading proponents of a conversion therapy ban in the UK have previously urged parliamentarians to follow the Victoria model.
Jayne Ozanne called it “the gold standard” while Stonewall’s Kieran Aldred referred to it as “best international practice”.
The group Let Us Pray, backed by the Christian Institute, said Westminster, Holyrood and Stormont should take note of what is happening in Australia as they consider their own plans for a ban.
Its spokesman said: “The news coming out of Australia confirms what we’ve been warning all along. Activists are exploiting concerns about conversion therapy to criminalise people for having the ‘wrong’ opinions about LGBT issues.”