[in response to the Australian state of Victoria passing a bill to ban gay conversion therapy]
Board of Imams Victoria is extremely concerned with the current form of the bill. Its stands are a gross government overreach and intrusion into the rights and freedoms of all Victorian citizens who do not share the views and extreme ideological constructs around identity, gender and sexuality which the bill imposes. The bill is recognised to be poorly drafted and a product of lobbying by the far-left elements of the LGBTIQ community but will inevitably cause harm to same sex attracted individuals, their families and faith communities who do not and will not accept the imposed ideologies and definitions of sexuality and gender identity.
All Victorians should have a right to autonomy to adhere to religiously compliant constructs of sexuality, gender identity and religiously sanctioned sexual conduct. Same sex attracted Muslims are not “broken.” However, this bill criminalises a core Islamic command to provide direct advice (Nasiha) on abstaining from sex with the same gender. The bill also criminalises counselling and direct advice to abide by and affirm traditional Islamic gender norms and constructs to people experiencing gender dysphoria.
How does potentially accelerating family breakdown and creating community tensions in this way helpful to anyone, including same sex attracted Victorians who belong to faith communities and whose religious convictions on sexuality will not change?
Unlike moves to promote gay rights like gay marriage which have, so far, not had direct impacts on faith communities, this law poses direct and serious harm to all Victorians who do not adhere to and affirm the identity constructs the bill imposes. The Victorian Labor party is therefore willfully acting to harm faith communities including the Muslim community.