2 February 2021


Tim Quilty says his opposition to gender conversion bill is based on freedoms

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has reiterated his opposition to the Andrews Government’s gender conversion therapy bill.

The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 seeks to ban practices which force members of the LGBTQIA+ to undergo conversion therapy, and will be debated in the Upper House this week.

Mr Quilty said he is entirely opposed to any practice which forces people to endure something they would rather not.

“As I stated last week, I am fiercely opposed to the practice of forcing people to endure conversion therapy with the notion that they are broken and must be fixed,” Mr Quilty said.

“But I am an unswerving supporter of freedom, of choice, and I firmly believe that an informed adult should be allowed make a choice to take part in something if they want.

“This bill seeks to prevent people who wish to explore their sexuality from seeking an opinion from somebody else: be that a medical professional, a counsellor or a member of a religious group.

“The Andrews Government, and those who support them, wish to launch an attack on people who choose to explore their sexuality and their identity.”

Mr Quilty singled out three non-government politicians who sit on the crossbench: Andy Meddick, Samantha Ratnam and Fiona Patten.

The three held a press conference outside Parliament House in support of the bill.

“They are perfectly entitled to vote how they see fit, this is how the Westminster system works,” Mr Quilty said.

“What I do take issue with is an assertion that opposing this bill is the same as being homophobic.

“The Liberal Democrats were the only party to vote in favour of marriage equality on every occasion and I am proud to stand up and say I support the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community - the entire LGBTQIA+ community, not just those with the government’s ear at the current moment.

“Samantha Ratnam, the Greens leader in Victoria, attacked democracy and implied that debate on this or any other issue is bad.

“She said ‘it’s hard to fathom that we’re even debating this matter in this Parliament because it implies that there are valid arguments on either side of this debate, when clearly there aren’t’.

“What she is saying is that nobody should be allowed to have a different view to her. Effectively she is erasing the opinions of those who don’t accept her binary views on sexuality and gender.

“She went on to say: ‘A lot of the arguments against this bill are inherently homophobic and wrong’.

“That’s a classic distraction from any debate – attack the critic and not the message in an attempt to shut down reasoned discussions.

“I have heard from many, many community members who oppose this bill and I can assure Ms Ratnam that all our arguments against this bill are based around consent.

“The opposing voices are calling for freedom.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819