Janet Rice addresses the Senate and calls out Australia’s Prime Minister on his anti-LGBTI comments (Photo: Facebook)
Australia’s senate on Tuesday (11 September) passed a motion to tackle the rise in LGBTI conversion therapy in the country.
The motion condemned all forms of gender and sexual orientation change efforts. The Australia Greens brought the motion to the Senate.
The motion came as Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a string of anti-LGBTI comments.
Last week, he said he would not ‘get involved’ in outlawing gay conversion therapy. ‘It’s just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue’, Morrison said.
The motion passed on the voices. It called on the federal government to encourage Australia’s states and territories to ban conversion therapy.
Morrison’s ruling coalition said they disagreed with it as it was a matter for the states. But, importantly, they did not opposite it.
Conversion or cure ‘therapies’ attempt to change LGBTI people’s sexuality or gender identity. They often use therapy, prayer, and even torture or violence.
The UN, a number of governments, rights groups, and faith leaders have condemned them.
‘Disregard of Duty’
Senator Janet Rice, who tabled the motion, said she was pleased the Senate passed the motion.
Indeed, the Australian Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson said: ‘For the Prime Minister to dismiss this as an issue that’s ‘not for him’ is an absolute disregard of duty’.
‘This is an issue for him and the Senate has just confirmed it,’ she also said in a statement.
She therefore urged the government to work to ban so-called conversion and reparative therapies throughout Australia.
Rice also called on Morrison to ‘stop his repeated and unacceptable attacks on LGBTIQ+ people, especially his awful comments about young trans kids’.
‘We do not need “gender whisperers” in schools’, Morrison wrote last week. He shared an article which claimed training teachers to be aware of transgender students lead to a surge in young people transitioning. ‘Let kids be kids,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘Young LGBTIQ+ kids already suffer enough without the hateful comments coming from the Prime Minister’, Rice said.
Watch the senator speak to the Senate below:
I’ve got a message for you @ScottMorrisonMP. Your language and attacks on LGBTIQ+ people are totally unacceptable and harmful.
— Janet Rice (@janet_rice) September 11, 2018