CSA has collaborated with Adventist Schools Australia (ASA), the Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS) and the Associated Christian Schools (ACS) group in Queensland to lodge a submission to the Queensland Parliament’s Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee. Details of the Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 being considered by the Committee can be found in our earlier Briefing here.
The submission makes it clear that our groups consider a bill whereby the government mandates a school counsellor’s response to a particular student, regardless of their clinical opinion and under the guise of banning vaguely defined ‘conversion therapy’ – is dangerous and unjustified.
We recommend that –
- Before a proper decision can be made, or even discussion commence, the term ‘conversion therapy’ must be more clearly and precisely defined.
- Informed public discussion must precede any proposal for legislation, including clarity as to whom, and when, criminal penalties apply.
- Legislative responses must themselves be based on sound evidence and research.
- Genuine questioning and advice must be allowed under any proposal.
- Guarantees must be provided about ongoing rights to religious teaching.
The submission raises a number of critical questions about the Government’s Bill, the responses by the Health Department in the Public Briefing on the Bill and the ‘research’ base said to support the Bill.
Schools can read a full copy of the submission from the link below.