Australian Government Prohibits LGBTIQ People Prayers of Repentance

Victoria’s Equality of Opportunities and Human Rights Commission established the “prayer practices related to the prohibition,” “with or without an LGBT person,” as illegal. Thus the Government has established what can or cannot be prayed within oneself.

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(ZENIT News / Victoria, 11.01.2024).- In 2021, the Australian state of Victoria prohibited by law Practices of Change or Suppression (Conversion). It pointed out as equal practices directed to change or suppress a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation and to “carry out a religious practice including, among others, a practice based on prayer, a practice of deliverance or an exorcism.”

At the beginning of this year, Ryler O’Neil wrote a study on the background of this law in The Daily Signal, where he refers to the Government’s interference in the sacred space of one’s interior prayers. And the most striking thing is that it bases the prohibition on the protection of people: it defends those that form part of the LGTBIQ group, attacking those that think differently.

Victoria’s Equality of Opportunities and Human Rights Commission established that the “prayer practices related to prohibition,” “with or without an LGBT person,” as illegal. Thus the Government has established what can or cannot be prayed for within oneself.

According to the Commission, “prayers directed to a person so that he/she changes or suppresses his/her sexual orientation or gender identity cause harm and are prohibited,” as prayers that include petitions to God and “ask for healing, ask that a person change, ask that a person not act according to his/her attractions, talk about the brokenness of a person or the need to repent or pray for long-term celibacy, are ways in which the residents of Victoria cause harm to others.

If those called to repentance violate the law, then Christianity itself has become illegal in the state of Victoria, where seven million people live. Interestingly, the law does not prohibit all those called to repentance, but only those directed to people who identify as LGBTIQ, as “daily religious activities will only be considered illegal when they comply with the definition of the law of a practice or change or suppression.”

The Commission emphasizes that criminal sanctions only apply in situations when “the resulting harm of the practice can be proved and where there are proofs of criminal negligence (. . .) . This law doesn’t attempt to impede people from practicing or enjoying their faith; it’s about preventing harm and these practices are harmful.” That is, the Commission prohibits a pastor or a priest to encourage  someone who wishes to remain celibate in his struggle against the attraction to same-sex people.

It is striking that Planned Parenthood, the organization that defends homosexuality, points out recent studies where 11% of adult individuals in the United States acknowledge feeling some attraction to people of the same sex, and 8.2% have engaged in sexual behaviour with same-sex people, but only 3.5% identify themselves as lesbians, gays or bisexuals. And the organization  affirms that “this shows that what people feel or do is not always the same as they identify themselves, when rather, it indicates that we, individuals, can have misguided sexual actions, which can be comprehensible but not because of this are admissible.

Ryler O’Neil says that many doctors have cautioned that gender identity is different from a person’s biological sex. Dr Stephen B. Levine, psychiatrist and among the first defenders of transgender medical interventions, said he was opposed to transgender interventions in children: “There is no consensus or a ‘standard of care’ accorded in regard to therapeutic approaches for child or adolescent gender dysphoria (to identify with a gender different from a person’s biological sex). On the contrary, this Australian law places therapy in one direction: to foster anyone’s ‘gender identity,’ as he stresses that, “if someone wants to change or suppress his sexual orientation or gender identity, such solicited efforts will continue violating the law.”

Richard Fitzgibbons explains on (ZENIT’s brother portal) the “success of psychotherapy in the treatment of homosexuality: in 1962, Bieber reported that there was a cure rate of 27% based on psychoanalysis. A recent survey of 285 psychoanalysts, who treated 1,215 homosexual patients, showed that 23% changed to heterosexuality (. . .). I have had the experience that, when forgiveness and Christian spirituality are essential parts of the treatment, the cure rate of homosexuality is close to 100%.”

“There is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed or suppressed,” said the Commission with total certainty about a datum that several scientists have denied. “Any activity to encourage this person to change or suppress his sexual orientation or gender identity will cause harm and it’s probable that it’s a practice of change or suppression,” which is illegal. It’s good to ask oneself who is behind this poorly founded position.

Contrary to the Commission’s statement on the lack of evidence that gender identity can be changed, many people that before identified themselves as transgender have come to reject that identity and to warn against the gender ideology. Detractors, such as Chloe Cole and Walt Heyer, underwent medical treatments to reaffirm their gender identity, although later they said it was always false. Heyer said that the therapy of conversation facilitated his seeing the underlying psychological problems that were in his transition.

The law of the state of Victoria in Australia that condemns forms of prayer seems unacceptable, but 27 U.S. States , as well as Washington, D.C., have laws that prohibit “conversion therapy” for minors. These laws also allows the therapy in the sense of maintaining the LGBTIQ identity, including if the patient says he wants to overcome unwanted feelings of attraction to same-sex persons.

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Rafael Llanes

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