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Advocates call for Catholic bishops to condemn conversion therapy

National LGBTIQ advocacy organisation just.equal has called on Australia’s Catholic bishops to denounce LGBTIQ conversion practices and embrace discrimination protections for LGBTIQ people.

The call comes in the wake of Pope Francis declaring his support for same-sex civil unions and LGBTIQ inclusion.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family,” Pope Francis said, in footage included in the new documentary Francesco.

“They are children of God and have a right to a family.

“Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it.

“What we have to have is a civil union law – that way they are legally covered.

“I stood up for that.”

The Pope has previously commented positively on gay people, saying in 2013: “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has a good will, then who am I to judge him?”

Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said that Catholic bishops in Australia must support LGBTIQ people and work to end harmful homophobic and transphobic practices.

“The clear message from the Vatican is that LGBTIQ people should be treated with equal respect and have legal protections,” said Croome.

“Now it’s the turn of Australia’s Catholic bishops to repudiate damaging prejudices that say LGBTIQ people are broken and our human rights pose a threat.

“We call on the bishops to speak out against LGBTIQ conversion practices and support legal protections against anti-LGBTIQ discrimination.

“A great start would be for the bishops to repudiate statements in their infamous ‘Don’t Mess with Marriage‘ booklet suggesting same-sex partners are not whole people and mess with kids.”

Anti-LGBTQA+ conversion therapy, often performed by religious groups, remains legal in most of Australia and other jurisdictions.

Queensland’s new legislation against conversion therapy has been criticised as “next to useless” over its coverage of healthcare services but religious settings.

Survivors of the practices have called for stronger laws that particularly cover informal and religious settings.

1 thought on “Advocates call for Catholic bishops to condemn conversion therapy”

  1. The Catholic church is no stranger to changing to survive the times. Once, after all, the Pope also banned the practice of charging interest on loans. When political machinations proved that finance was necessary, such a stipulation was forgotten.

    Perhaps it is a sign of the fading influence of the Pope that he is still receiving so much vehement opposition on these issues. Dioceses across the sea don’t listen so attentively as they once did.

    The Catholic church is standing as a lone beacon of opposition to a number of issues, from sex health to LGBT rights, apparently without a plan for how it intends to make it through the next century on the backs of policies that actively harm our world.

    The Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to condoms actively contributed to killing millions during the AIDS crisis and they never changed their mind to this day. They aren’t opposed to a little harm on the back of sticking to a theological point.

    There is also a lot of merit in the argument that Pope Francis is mostly concerned with the public image of the church, and has done little to actually make the changes he discusses.

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