Advocates have called on allies within the Victorian Liberal party to stand up against homophobic and transphobic motions put forward by conservatives for debate at the party’s upcoming state conference.
On Monday, Victorian Liberal state president Michael Kroger (pictured) intervened to scrap a motion endorsing the practice of dangerous and discredited “gay conversion” therapy in the state.
Liberal opposition leader Matthew Guy told Fairfax Media there was “absolutely no chance” he would support or allow any form of “gay conversion” therapy.
“After everything I’ve said supporting same-sex marriage, calling for the party to engage the gay community and others… as if a government I lead would consider anything as ridiculous as that,” he said.
Other federal colleagues including MPs Trent Zimmerman and Warren Entsch slammed the motion as “narrow-minded” and a throwback to the “dark recesses of the 19th century”.
Just.equal spokesperson Ivan Hinton-Teoh welcomed the party’s move but called on supporters of LGBTIQ equality within the party to speak out against other anti-LGBTIQ motions that remain on the agenda at the party’s upcoming state conference later this month.
One calls on the federal government to remove the phrase “sexual orientation” from the federal Sex Discrimination Act, enabling discrimination against LGBTIQ people.
“Marriage equality was not ‘mission accomplished’ because there is still much work to be done to remove discrimination and prejudice,” Hinton-Teoh said.
“LGBTI community allies in the Liberal Party need to walk the walk by making a strong case for LGBTI dignity and equality.
“It’s not enough for our allies in the Liberal Party to be seen marching in pride parades when there are still members of a major political party who want to roll back LGBTI human rights.”
Hinton-Teoh said he is concerned by media reports that Victorian Liberal MPs were reluctant to speak out against anti-LGBTI prejudice because they fear they may not pre-selected if they do.
“There is a fierce debate currently in Australia around free speech and it appears that only those opposing the dignity of LGBTI Australians within the Liberal Party are using this freedom,” he said.
“Right now we need our Liberal supporters to speak freely about the challenges facing LGBTI Australians, advocating for our dignity and self determination and the importance of a society that respects diversity.”