Albany church removes info for event promoting life ‘beyond LGBTQ+ ideologies’

Albany Baptist Church have removed online promotional materials for an upcoming event, which is suspected to promote harmful LGBTQIA+ conversion practices here in Western Australia.

The church had posted information about an event entitled Real Lives, which promises “stories of hope, vision and dignity beyond LGBTQ+ ideologies.”

The flyer claimed stories would be told by those “who have previously lived and identified as LGBTQ+ but who are now finding new life in Jesus Christ.”

Attempts to change or alter the sexuality or gender identity have been condemned by LGBTQIA+ advocates and health professionals, and survivors are leading an international movement against such practices with the SOGICE Survivor Statement.

The information has now been removed from social media channels after community feedback, spearheaded by local LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Albany Pride.

“Not only is this kind of practice entrenched with deep-rooted homophobia and transphobia, but it is also incredibly dangerous,” Albany Pride said in a statement today.

“Practitioners of this abhorrent practice will often have absolutely no training in the field of psychology or psychiatry (or will have been “trained” at an institution that is not recognised and widely discredited) – meaning already vulnerable people, many of whom are already experiencing intense grief and trauma, are being placed in harm’s way by people who are completely unqualified to help them.”

“To the LGBTQIA+ people who have experienced trauma and abuse at the hands of organisations such as the Albany Baptist Church that promote this practice and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric, we see you, hear you, and recognise you. You are loved and you are accepted for who you are: sincerely and genuinely, by all of us at Albany Pride and the people that support us.”

“To those of you who are reading this and facing a conflict between your faith and your sexuality, gender identity, and/or intersex status: know that in reality, there is no conflict, do not let anybody convince you that there is.”

“To anyone who is struggling with their sexuality, gender identity and/or intersex status at this very moment: we are here for you, and we encourage you to seek support from certified professionals who will genuinely have your best interests at heart (this, of course, applies to anyone who is struggling with anything).”

In Western Australia, Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook have indicated they stand against the conversion practices, but no commitment has been made to outlaw the harmful procedures.

Despite no action from the McGowan Government, conservative groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby and Binary have already begun to rally against potential legislation that could outlaw conversion therapies.

Leigh Andrew Hill

Albany Baptist Church has been contacted for comment.

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED: 9364 6909 / / [email protected]
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 /

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 /

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