Call to Prayer and Action – Banning “Conversion Practices”
Hi Pastors, Leaders and Churches,
You may have heard that Alex Greenwich, the independent MP for Sydney, has introduced his ‘conversion therapy’ bill, and the NSW Government have also released a discussion paper as it begins to draft its own legislation.
The Greenwich bill is modelled on the Victorian legislation and proposes measures that severely restrict religious freedoms to teach, pray and counsel on matters of gender and sexuality. The proposals in the discussion paper (which has been the subject of very recent discussions between government officials and faith leaders, including myself) is also alarming and their current form would ban consensual prayer and conversations on these matters in all walks of life, including in schools, faith communities and within the family. This is despite explicit commitments from Labor before the election that they would protect prayer, religious teaching, and consensual requests for support.
Physically and psychologically harmful and coercive practices should not be allowed, and there would be no issue if that was all that was being proposed. However, the ‘practices’ that would be covered by the government’s own discussion paper are very broad. We are calling on the Premier and the Government to honour their promises, and not support any bill that undermines religious freedom. We are making strong and united representations to government about these issues at the moment.
What is most needed now is for many people to contact their local MP and voice concern.
A simple website has been established by Freedom For Faith, of which our Association is a partner. It highlights the main issues and what we are asking of the government.
This website has tools and a guide to help you write to, call, or arrange a meeting with your local MP to talk about conversion therapy and religious freedom.
Can I invite all of us to:
- Be very much in prayer about this matter, and
- Take the time to call or write to or visit your MP.
Director of Ministries