Today, Cath and I will attend another Midsumma Pride March together.
We’ll march alongside thousands of other Victorians, united in the belief that everyone should be able to celebrate who they are with pride.
But for far too long and for far too many Victorians, an evil practice has instead peddled in shame and stigma.
These activities – commonly referred to as ‘gay conversion therapy’ – claim to be able to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity.
What they really are is a most personal form of torture, a cruel practice that perpetuates the idea that LGBTI people are in some way broken.
Some survivors, seeking genuine professional support, have instead found themselves on the other end of this bigoted quackery.
Others have sought it out, forced to believe that they somehow need to be ‘cured’.
But it’s not LGBTI people who need to change. It’s our laws.
That’s why, in an Australian first, we will introduce new legislation to ensure so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is against the law – once and for all.
We’ll drag these practices from the dark ages and into the brightest of lights.
We’ll put an end to the suffering and help survivors to heal.
And we’ll send the clearest message of all:
Here in Victoria, not only are you good enough – you’re worth celebrating.