Pride in Peel join in growing opposition to ACL events in Western Australia

Pride in Peel have announced they stand with a growing number of local LGBTQIA+ groups in their opposition to the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) attempts to host events around Western Australia.

This week it was revealed that Perth Theatre Trust (PTT) have rejected applications from the ACL, who seek venues for their leader Martyn Iles’ The Truth Of It – LIVE tour. Pride in Peel have joined Albany Pride, OUT South West, Rainbow Futures WA and more in speaking out against the ACL’s support of conversion practices and anti-LGBTQ+ history, and supporting the PTT’s decision.

Pride in Peel board member and head of PFLAG Mandurah, Natasja Verschut, is concerned that Mandurah may be next on their list as the ACL faces challenges in the South West region.

“Should the Bunbury location fall through; the Australian Christian Lobby may try other locations such as Mandurah. Pride in Peel and its supporters will petition this should it occur,” Verschut said.

“Pride in Peel has a long-standing partnership with The City of Mandurah who have continually supported the LGBTQIA+ community within the Peel region. We will liaise closely with the City should any such event be proposed for Mandurah.”

Earlier this year in May, Albany Pride vocally opposed the ‘Real Lives’ event which allegedly sought to promote Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) through religious intervention.

The Australian Christian Lobby were ardent supporters of the event and continue to lobby against legislation that would outlaw the dangerous practice of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Change Efforts, or conversion ideology.

“Conversion therapy has been proven to be detrimental and traumatic to those that have undergone it,” Verschut added.

“Religion cannot be an excuse to demoralize, demean, discriminate, misrepresent, restrict or condemn other people’s rights to freedom of choice in society. Especially when that restriction and prejudice causes severe mental health duress for a minority group as well as entice hatred, judgement, miscommunication, anger and violence within the population towards the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Survivors of the practice are leading the fight against conversion ideology across Australia with the SOGICE Survivors Statement, which has gathered over 11,000 supporters including churches, community groups and peak health organisations.

Other LGBTQIA+ advocates have raised concerns that Western Australia has become a ‘safe haven’ for conversion practices, with no solid commitment from the McGowan Government to outlaw the practice, as has been done in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

Leigh Andrew Hill

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