At first glance, Sydney’s celebration of WorldPride 2023 might seem harmless. However, the love that dared not speak its name now has no intention of remaining silent.
Beneath the smokescreen of glitter and gaiety lies gratuitous messaging which, although claiming to reap good, creates a seedbed for increased harm against some of Australia’s victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Everyone who is anyone in the LGBTQI+ world has descended upon Australia. One of these is Jayne Ozanne, a British evangelical Anglican who describes herself as “unashamedly gay, unashamedly Christian”. According to her website, she campaigns to “safeguard LGBTQ people from abuse … prejudice and discrimination”. She also chairs the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition.
Ozanne’s visit to Australia has taken her across the vast nation to encourage religious groups to finish what state and territorial governments in Queensland, the ACT and Victoria have already established – an outright ban on anyone receiving therapeutic help, advice, or even prayer in places, linked to human sexuality and gender dysphoria, unless of course the action being offered is wholly affirming of queer identities in line with LGBTQ doctrine.
The Anglican community at St George’s Cathedral in Perth hosted Ozanne to promote therapy bans last week. Over ten days after writing urgently to Perth’s Anglican Archbishop, Kay Goldsworthy, to express grave concerns linked to Ozanne’s public presentation, Western Australia’s Survivors’ Support Network has still not received a response.
Didn’t the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently castigate religious institutions for wielding this exact same power, chastising their past demands that everyone toe the line with no one daring to question institutional intentions or actions? The Royal Commission recommended helping survivors to heal; it did not recommend pouring salt into their wounds.
Historically, many religious institutions appeared untouchable. They gave off an air of benevolence, and yet we now know that heinous crimes took place behind closed doors which few were willing to speak up about and bring into the light.
Consider for a moment Australia’s victims of childhood sexual abuse, many of whom are being further wounded by Ozanne’s campaign to ban therapy.
There is the Aboriginal woman, now 38, who was sexually abused by a close male member of her family for four years as a teenager. Having lived as a lesbian, she wishes to continue to explore how her childhood abuse has affected her present-day relationships.
Although still mostly same-sex attracted, like Ozanne, she believes that “every avenue to prayer, therapy and counsel which is proven to work, even if only for a minority, must be left open.” She wants to explore the heterosexual potential that she has begun to experience in therapy without government interference.
She also believes, along with Australia’s LGB Alliance, that outright bans on conversion therapy will have “a long-term effect of degrading women and children, aside from its deathly effect on the Aboriginal community,” a community that Briton Ozanne is unlikely to fully understand.
This Aboriginal lady says she is left feeling “further despair and retraumatised by anti-therapy and anti-prayer legislation” rising across Australia.
Ozanne’s message on the World Pride bandwagon not only prevents this lady from healing but further injures her, all in the name of “safeguarding LGBTQ people from abuse, prejudice and discrimination”. Ever heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Then there is the 31-year-old same-sex attracted Asian male who worked as an escort, engaging in sexual encounters with two or three men a day just to feel some form of temporary connection.
“My heart,” he says, “is miraculously changing through ongoing therapy and prayer. Today, I have an inner relief and sense of peace. I am pursuing my own dignity and that of others too.
“My depression has gone. My anxiety has lessened. I am mentally more stable and have vision and direction in my life. I genuinely care about myself – and about others.”
He believes that Ozanne’s riding on the wave of World Pride to push more governments to pass laws based on ideology will harm children, vulnerable adults and others in the LGBTQ community who may in the future wish to access the same scientific, successful, life-giving help that he has received and needs to continue receiving.
“Nobody should ever be forced into therapy against their will,” he added. “But it is bigoted and discriminatory for any member of the LGBTQ community to ban me, someone from the same community, from embracing therapy and prayer which is bringing about massive benefits to my life.”
Today, LGBTQ ideology – the new ubiquitous belief system with its own curriculum of conversion and indoctrination, and its excommunication process for anyone who dares to question or challenge its dogmas – is repeating the same power game historically used by religious institutions on young people.
This 21st century “religion” is, however, more widespread and severe in its outcomes. It is paraded incessantly in broad daylight with knowingly irreparable physical and sexual damage to the bodies of minors and vulnerable adults the likes of which were never seen at the hands of religious perpetrators.
Where are the voices of Australia’s religious institutions in this situation? Does the Alphabet Agenda now trump the restorative journey of survivors and the safeguarding of the most vulnerable? Have religious leaders, and their political counterparts, not learnt their lesson from the heavily taxpayer-funded Royal Commission to speak out where there is abuse? It appears not.
Maybe World Pride needs to come before the world seriously falls?