The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on MPs to oppose, what they describe as, “the most dangerous and draconian bill” ever seen in Australia.
The call comes after the Victorian Government last week introduced the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill, that could see people hit with heavy fines or lengthy jail time for teaching the Biblical view of sexuality and gender.
Under Section 5 (3), the Bill criminalises common religious practices such as prayer and even informal conversations that express orthodox religious beliefs relating to sexual orientation or gender identity.
The ACL has warned, this will remove the freedom of parents, teachers and religious leaders to teach biblical beliefs and traditional culture.
Any teaching by parents to children of the importance of their biology, or the teaching of Biblical views on sexual orientation or gender identity, may be punished as ‘family violence’.
Under the bill there are broad powers to locate, investigate, re-educate, censure, and punish anyone who holds to and teaches Christian convictions on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Penalties could be as much as 10 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.
Complaints can be reported “from any person,” even those who are not affected, and can be made anonymously. They can also be made about conduct in states other than Victoria. Anti-religious activists will be able to harass and silence churches, organisations and individuals they don’t agree with.
The ACL has set up a webpage to make it easy for Australians to contact their MPs directly. You can help the ACL take action against this bill by visiting the ACL website.