LGBTI rights advocates on Wednesday (5 September) urged Australia’s Prime Minister to meet with transgender and gender-fluid Australians.
The call followed a backlash over a string of anti-LGBT comments by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
Morrison on Wednesday tweeted ‘let kids be kids’. He shared an article linking LGBTI-sensitive education to increased cases of transgender young people.
Earlier this week, the new Prime Minister said he would not ‘get involved’ in outlawing gay conversion therapy.
Furthermore, he said he found it ‘skin-curling’ that schools taught children about LGBTI topics.
Therefore, advocacy group Just.equal wrote to Morrison. They asked him to meet with gender diverse Australians and also survivors of gay conversion therapy.
The group urged Morrison to ‘better understand the terrible impact of prejudice and ignorance,’ said Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome.
Just.equal pointed to a mental health study in their letter. Most noteworthy, it found most transgender and gender diverse young people experience abuse because of who they are.
As a result, transgender and gender diverse youths have higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Authors of the study, Beyond Blue, finally recommended LGBTI education in schools to prevent depression and suicide among the minority.
‘If Mr Morrison is going ‘to be on the side of Australia’ he must open his heart to those Australians who are the most vulnerable to hate and fear’, said Croome.
‘Anything that inflicts unnecessary and preventable harm on everyday Australians should be of concern to the Prime Minister’, Mr Croome said.
We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids. https://t.co/POzM26PXU5
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 4, 2018
Australia’s ‘anti LGBTI’ Prime Minister
The Australian Greens on Wednesday labeled Morrison as ‘anti LGBTIQ.’
‘It’s pretty clear the Prime Minister doesn’t give a rats about young LGBTIQ people,’ said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson.
‘He said to Australians last week that the Liberal party is “on your side.” He clearly forgot to mention that only applies if you’re heterosexual and cisgender.’
Recently, survivors of gay cure therapies and LGBTI Christians have been lobbying the government to ban the practice.
Gay conversion or gay cure therapy attempts to turn lesbian, gay, or bisexual people straight. It uses prayer, therapy, or even torture and violence. As a result, almost every mainstream health and psychiatry organization in the world has condemned the practice.
‘It’s just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue,’ said Morrison this week.
‘Conversion therapies and sexual orientation change efforts are harmful and can have fatal consequences,’ said Rice.