Aussies Face Ten Years Jail for Prayers

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Aussies Face Ten Years Jail for Prayers

A parent whose five year old son was insisting that he is a girl will be prevented from seeking any help – medical, psychological, behavioural, spiritual, social or otherwise – to assist their son in understanding and accepting that he is a boy.  Anything less than affirmation of him as a girl will be prohibited.

If the parent asks a priest to pray for, let alone counsel, a teenager considering 'gender realignment surgery, with a view to getting him or her to reject the idea of being chemically and surgically mutilated, the priest could be sent to prison for up to ten years.

Christian teenagers who commit themselves to saving sexual activity for marriage will be prohibited from gathering together to support each other to remain faithful to their commitment to chastity.

Not only will Courage, a ministry for those Catholics experiencing same-sex attraction but who want to live chastely in accordance with their religious beliefs, be banned, it is even possible that preaching the same verse from Corinthians that got [Australian Rugby star] Israel Folau sacked could get a cleric imprisoned.

These are the staggering consequences of a new law just passed in the Australian state of Victoria. The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill makes it illegal to try to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity in Victoria. The bill must now be signed by the Victorian governor-general for royal assent, and will come into effect in 12 months’ time.

A similar bill was passed in the state of Queensland last year, but the Victorian legislation goes much further in that it prohibits “harmful practices” not only in healthcare settings but also in churches.

This includes “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer-based practice, a deliverance practice or an exorcism.” Transgressors could face fines of up to $200,000 and 10 years in prison.

Supporters of the law claim that it will not criminalise prayer, but the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s Director of Public Affairs Monica Doumit – who is also a lawyer – says that the very loosely drafted wording of the Bill means that it surely will:

“Banned under this law would be any mental health interventions, but also ‘carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer based practice’ directed towards a person, with or without the person’s consent, for the purpose of changing or suppressing the sexual orientation or gender identity of the person. Sexual orientation is defined broadly to mean ‘a person’s emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, or intimate sexual relations with, persons of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender,’”

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