Matthew Guy voices support for Victoria’s conversion practice ban

Newly reinstated Victoria Liberal leader Matthew Guy says there should be no doubt about his party’s support for laws against conversion and suppression practices in relation to sexuality and gender identity.

Appearing on Melbourne radio station JOYFM on Saturday morning the Opposition Leader said the statement’s made by the Shadow Minister for Equality, James Newbury, had left no doubt that the issue had been resolved for good.

On Conversion Practice legislation

“James did give no equivocation, what he said is is it, that’s policy, that’s how it stands, it’s in black and white.” Guy said.

“People had said to us a number of times, ‘Well, what about this deal?’, ‘What about this supposed deal?’ There is no deal. This is it. It’s in black and white.”

Guy said people would be able to hold him to the promise, and it would be the policy that his party would take to the next election. While the party had previously pushed for a number of amendments to the legislation that were not adopted, now that it was established law the Liberals would not be planning any changes in the future.

“I’m not going to revisit this again. The bill is a good bill, it stands, and it continues to stand, and I just don’t want to be for the very strong GLBTIQ strong community in Victoria… I don’t want there to be any question that there’s another view out there.” Matthew Guy said.

Guy shared that members of his own family were gay, as are some of his most senior staff members.

“We’re not going to have any kind of equivocation on legislation which demeans them.” Guy said, describing the state’s world leading conversion therapy ban as something that was just “right”.

“We’re not going to demean our own family, our own friends, let alone take legislation that would do that.” Guy said.

On Safe Schools

Asked if his support for the LGBTIQA+ community extended to support for younger people through the Safe Schools program, Guy said his party was committed to anti-bullying programs in schools, and any concerns about the program could probably easily be resolved.

“We absolutely support anti-bullying programs in schools, your community would know more than any others that this is a real problem in schools. We have had some historical problems with elements of Safe Schools, but I don’t think that any of those are issues that can’t be addressed or ironed out, or if there’s discussion lets do it sensible and rationally.

“The concept, the whole issue behind it of making kids in GLBTIQ communities feel safe and secure is one we must all support.” Guy said.

On proposed changes to the Equal Opportunity legislation

The opposition leader also voiced support for proposed changes to the state’s Equal Opportunity Laws which would prevent religious based schools from firing staff who they discovered were gay.

“Nobody should be fired because of their sexuality.” Guy said, saying that it was reasonable that hiring practices may seeks particular attributes that matched an organisation, but it was not acceptable for a person to lose their job if their circumstances changed.

“If someone comes out, no – they shouldn’t be sacked, no, not at all.” Guy said.

While the proposed legislation is yet to be tabled, Guy said he had no interest in anyone playing political games with people’s lives.

“It’s straight forward to me… if the primary issue in the bill is around ensuring people are not sacked from their jobs because of their sexuality, then James (Newbury) and I have made some very public comments saying ‘no-one should be sacked from their job on the basis of their sexuality.’ That is not something that we would support, and therefore any bill to tidy that up, or to make that known, that’s something we would absolutely in principle support.” Guy said.

“I don’t want people to be sacked on the basis of their sexuality, that’s a ridiculous concept, we all know that. So therefore if we need to put in place laws to protect that from happening then we should.”

Guy said the concept applied equality to discrimination on the basis of gender or gender diversity.

“If someone has a job you can’t dismiss them because they are transitioning…that would be ridiculous.”

OIP Staff

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