Unpublished Opinion: The Bill that Offers No Change, No Alternative, Only Suppression

Once upon a time if Former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson tweeted that a law before the Victorian parliament constituted the ‘biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history’ someone may have heard. But the current modus operandi is not to hear and think but feel and flow.

Legislation criminalising discussions, (not abuse but discussions) whether parental, therapeutic or religious on issues of sexuality and gender, now flows unimpeded from one house to the next in Victoria’s parliament. Uphill it goes with little resistance. The expectation is it will cascade from the upper chamber and flow into our homes, schools, universities, workplaces and places of worship where ‘all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, will feel welcome and valued in Victoria’, no doubt flooded with an enabling love, ‘to live authentically and with pride.’

Well, that is everyone except those whose feelings are unwanted or cause them angst. Those who seek a helping hand to live more authentically out of their values will be legally forced to live out of their sexuality. The Andrews government have dictated this as the best way for them.

They won’t be valued, if even permitted, in Victoria. Sharing a personal transformation story as a result of Reintegrative Therapy, well that would be criminal unless it was in the mandated direction. The days of ‘each to his or her own’ are gone. Friends, counsellors, therapists, parents and faith leaders beware. Free will and consent are now irrelevant and not a license to offer professional counsel or even a personal prayer.

While values and choices may be very yesterday, feelings are very now. The Change or Suppression Practises Prohibition Bill 2020 is very concerned about affirming feelings, and of course that’s the only option. Yet ironically, they won’t allow anyone to affirm your feelings if those feelings happen to change.

Clinicians assisting individuals who feel ‘broken’ (people with unwanted feelings) often identify significant childhood trauma and neglect as gateway issues to their sexual responses and identity. When dealing with underlaying issues, Reintegrative Therapists  note that sexual orientation can change. The National Association of Practising Psychiatrists (NAPP) also note in their submission to the Queensland Government,  that sexual orientation, real desire, can and does change as other issues are addressed. But that won’t do in Victoria. No one can affirm that another is ‘broken’ or needs ‘fixing’ even if that’s how they feel. This is a group of people the government will not affirm.  

Other democratic nations are starting to see where this is flowing and making efforts to turn the tide. The same sort of legislated ban in three US states was struck down by the federal appellate court which concluded that such laws violate the free speech guarantees of the US Constitution. 

And when it comes to children, the most vulnerable in our society, governments should recognise the risks of affirming children according to feelings about sexual orientation or identity. While Victoria seeks to ban therapy for children, Finland’s Councils for Choices in Healthcare is recommending dysphoric children receive broad based psychological and psychiatric support and that this must be done at the school level. The UK case of Keira Bell should set a precedent in our own nation. At 23 Bell sued the clinic who she believes should have ‘challenged her more’ over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager.  The three High Court judges found in her favour. 

In a ruling, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lord Justice Lewis and Mrs Justice Lieven, said:

"It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers."

What exactly does this bill hope to ban? Professor Patrick Parkinson has said the ‘therapies this bill seeks to ban have not been practiced since mid-1980’s. They have not been endorsed for 35 years or more.’  Professor John Whitehall has said the science being relied upon comes via a La Trobe Survey consisting of 15 anonymous, unverified, unsubstantiated replies. Who can even dispute that if discussion is banned. 

So, what’s this all about? John Anderson nailed it in one when he said, ‘This is the biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history.’ This bill claims it will stop harmful practises (we have little evidence of) yet in fact criminalises ‘discussions.’

Meanwhile, there is zero consideration for the real harm to fundamental freedoms, to adults with unwanted sexual attraction, to those with complex underlying mental health issues or trauma, to community relationships between parents, their children and teachers, between governments and health professionals, to those who choose to find their identity in their values rather than their sexuality, and most importantly the harmful pathway of an ‘affirmation only’ policy which administers hormone blockers to children which will ultimately end in castrations, mastectomies and a whole host of other health issues. You won’t be asked what you think about that, but Victorians can rest assured, you will be told how to feel.

When we are compelled by law to turn away family and friends seeking a helping hand with their unwanted feelings, declining any discussion or prayer request, this is completely at odds with the most basic principles of human kindness and an inclusive society.





  • Dear Vickie,
    It pains me to see what is happening there in Victoria.
    As a Muslim who searched for peace and refuge more than a decade ago outside my home country, then to have found you and other benevolent Christian neighbours there.
    Who made my young sons and I feel so safe, so loved; to see that the most sacred tenets of Christianity – the gentle hands of mercy, the dignified generosity that never made me feel demeaned for accepting it, the hugs, the love, the kindness. Owh! The Kindness!
    To see that this most fundamental core of Christian love is being ripped apart in Victoria, through this bill, is heart-wrenching.
    My comment is a bit long, but please bear through it with me. I recall the words spoken by Prof Timothy Winter of Cambridge University some years back when I was listening to the Al-Ghazali discourse. The discourse was on Al Ghazali’s magnum opus, Ihya. I think it is relevant here. When discussing the human Soul, this is what I recall Prof Winter said:
    It is the modern paradox. The message which modernity is beaming out to the young, since the young are the most vulnerable, is self-expression, self-discovery, self-affirmation, being yourself, discovering yourself.
    But modernity does not define what the Self actually is. Hence, in the absence of a coherent doctrine of the Self, i.e. the soul, or even a medically defined understanding of consciousness, modernity is encouraging a void, a vagueness to come out of itself and affirm itself.
    Many of the anxieties faced by the very young now – drug addiction, breakdown of relationships, eating disorders, internal conflict etc speak of a certain disquiet of the modern soul. On the one hand, modernity advertisers are asking us to come out and affirm ourselves – choose your own identity, choose your own gender, choose your sexuality, choose your body image – we are urged to choose something to make ourselves closer to what we Feel we are. (exactly what you argued).
    But on the other hand, the absence of a definition of this Self, i.e. the human soul or human becoming is creating a chaos.
    The human project for all of the ancient times until quite recently has been the geometry of the human brain and the soul. The definitions and constants of human society is a belief in the sacred and an understanding of the existence of a transcendent realm in which our behaviour is rooted.
    And this central truth has been torn out from the modern soul, that it seems as if it was a long time ago, during the Enlightenment period in Europe, if not before. People have forgotten what it is they have forgotten
    I think, Vickie, that it is one of the greatest lies ever told to us in these recent times, to ‘listen to your feelings’. An immeasurable amount of pain and suffering has emerged from this mantra. Not just on sexual orientation or gender identity, but on marital breakdown, on important choices we make that constitute a life of goodness and Truth.
    From what is being pushed here as the agenda, it appears as if nobody remembers anymore what a human life was about. As Prof Winter said, once upon a time, there was a foundation, a direction, a contemplative quiet space, an experience of the holy. That there is meaning to everything we saw in nature. This fundamental master signifier of the human view of the Soul has been confiscated and we are ignorant of the fact that we are ignorant of that.
    I hope and pray, that goodness will prevail.
    I hope and pray that everyone concerned will realise once again that human beings are only happy when we quest for the One, the good, the true, the light behind everything. Without that, we are just being liquidized again and again, for the benefit of whoever it is that is steering the ship.
    God bless.

  • Congratulations Vickie for being bold enough to do this, I for one certainly appreciate it, and go along with everything you’ve said. I personally find that what Mr. Daniel Andrews is doing to our State of Victoria is deplorable. As far as I’m concerned I’ll live my christian life as I want to and no Government person will stop me. Why should we all be ‘Persecuted’ for our beliefs? This is Australia, I mean goodness me, this is 2021, and we’re supposed to be a ‘free country’ well maybe for Mr. Andrews but not for us Christians. I must also say here that I absolutely admired Margaret Court for her comments regarding Mr. Andrew’s disgusting banter about dear Margaret receiving a gong!! Thanks again Vickie, keep up the great work you’re doing for all of us.

    Mary Shepherdley
  • Well put Vickie.
    May God grant His divine intervention to stop this outrageous bill.

    Peter Cronk
  • I fear that speaking the truth and showing a loving God’s provisions, will be banned and we will have to do everything in secret. That is worse than the prohibitions I faced while I lived in China for 20 years.

    Ria Smit
  • Well said Thank you Vickie Janson especially the last statement but we seem to be preaching to a crowd who are arrogantly hardening their hearts to the issue of human kindness- because they have decided what is best for society rather than being humble in a desire to serve those or represent those who voted them into parliament

    Sylvia J Huxham

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