What A Shock: Scott Morrison Has Some Pretty Cooked Thoughts On Conversion Therapy
There's only one acceptable view on conversion therapy: it should be outlawed.
Our new Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to the airwaves this morning to share his thoughts on a couple of issues, and oh man, some of those thoughts were really not ideal. Specifically, Morrison let us know that while “of course” he loves gay people, he’s really not all that concerned about conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy is the attempt — totally unsupported by any actual science or medical advice — to stop a person from identifying as LGBTI+. The United Nations has described the practice as torture, and the issue has been described by LGBTI+ Australians have identified as their top policy priority right now.
That’s the kind of conversion therapy Morrison described today as “just not an issue for me”.
Specifically, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell asked Morrison if he reckons gay conversion therapy works — a pretty cooked question, given that the research by actual experts is pretty clear on the fact that (a) it doesn’t and (b) it’s extraordinarily harmful to even attempt. “I’ve never really thought about it,” was Morrison’s immediate response.
Mitchell then pointed out that 43,000 Australians (and counting) have signed a Change.org petition calling on Morrison specifically to outlaw conversion therapy.
“Ah, well, people should abide by the law,” Morrison said. “If people aren’t breaking the law then that’s a matter for them”. He had to be reminded by Mitchell that actually, gay conversion therapy is not currently illegal, and that the petition is calling on Morrison to change that given the immense health risks associated with it.
“Mate, I respect people of all sexualities, I respect people of all religions, all faiths. I love all Australians, and what I sometimes get frustrated by is when people say they love Australia but they don’t seem to love Australians very much,” was Morrison’s baffling response to that.
Morrison: I love all Australians.
Mitchell: Do you love gay people?
Morrison: Of course I do.
Mitchell: Do you have a view on gay conversion?
Morrison: I think people should make their own choices about their own lives… I’ve never been involved in anything like that.
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) 2 September 2018
“Well you love all Australians, but you didn’t like gay marriage?” Mitchell pointed out.
“Well what’s that got to do with me not loving all Australians?” Morrison snapped, apparently unaware that actively attempting to deny the human rights of an entire chunk of Australia is not exactly loving.
“I think people should make their own choices about their own lives,” was his final point on the issue. “That’s always been my view. I’ve never been involved in anything like that, I’ve never supported anything like that. So mate, it’s just not an issue for me, and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue.”
Morrison said all this just a few minutes after he declared that his Prime Ministerial mantra would be “a fair go for those who have a go”, except for LGBTIQ+ people apparently (and refugees, Indigenous Australians, and a growing list of people Morrison has already fucked over). ScoMo, more like ScoMophobe tbh.
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) September 2, 2018
The topic of conversation came up following the launch of the Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Survivor Statement yesterday, which featured a coalition of survivors of conversion therapy programs calling on the Australian Government to take steps to end conversion therapy in this country once and for all.
The statement made a number of recommendations, asking that the government set up an inquiry into the extent and prevalence of conversion therapy in Australia, introduce greater regulatory enforcement, a public health and awareness campaign, and better mechanisms to report organisations and individuals promoting conversion therapy. Those recommendations have already been backed by a range of high-profile LGBTIQ+ and human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, PFLAG, ACON and Rainbow Families Victoria.
The issue with conversion therapy is that it’s not just harmless quackery that people can choose to waste their money on, its incredibly damaging to people who access it. Direct correlation to greater mental illness.
The UN describes it as “torture”. https://t.co/r4MOyQpBiV
— Sally Rugg 🏳️🌈 (@sallyrugg) September 2, 2018
Proud to support this too.
Conversion therapy is a monstrous form of child abuse. Australia must join Brazil, Spain, Taiwan, Ecuador, Malta, Ontario, Manitoba, many US states and the Church of England in affirming this.
Survivors and allies, please add your name. 🌈 https://t.co/VQT2fnmmGA
— Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw) September 2, 2018