The Government’s proposal – its definition of “change and suppression” is the Victorian model.
Before implementing the Victorian model we must understand the devastating impact that it has had on religious freedom. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) plays a crucial role in enforcing the Victorian laws, and has a site detailing what has now been made illegal. In it’s own words, this site shows how dangerous the Victorian model is.
(All quotes are taken from the VEOHRC site, or the video that it hosts)
The laws are based on an extreme understanding of harm and what is harmful. They do not just ban coercive and genuinely harmful practices, they consider anything that is not full support for LGBTIQ+ people to be “suppression”, which they claim is always harmful. This includes:
Any activity to encourage this person to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity will cause harm and is likely to be a change or suppression practice.
The individual may feel tension and fear rejection if they are asked to choose between their faith and their sexual orientation or gender identity. There is evidence that this ultimatum leads to harm.
Prayers that are directed at a person to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity cause harm and are prohibited.
A same-sex attracted member of your congregation is recommended or commits to celibacy:
Likely to cause harm and be a change or suppression practice.
Conversations risk causing deep harm
The Commission considers that even simple conversations can be considered harmful “suppression practices”. This includes talking to someone about “who they should have sexual relations with”. There is nothing in the legislation that protects conversations between family members, children and parents, or married couples.
Religious conversations about sexuality are also heavily restricted, unless they are actively approving of LGBTIQ+ activity.
Conversations risk causing deep harm and being a change and suppression practice when they are conducted for the purpose of changing or suppressing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, for example by telling people: