LGBT Rights

28 petitions

Started 1 week ago

Petition to Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt MP

“Praying the Gay Away” nearly killed me -- outlaw ‘Gay Conversion’ therapy

Trying to “Pray the Gay Away” nearly killed me. I’m not the only one. So-called conversion therapy can cause depression, self-loathing and even suicide. I prayed to God asking him to either heal me, or kill me. I was so depressed, I wanted to die. Living Waters was an ‘ex-gay’ course for those wanting to cure homosexuality. The people in the program told me my attraction to men could be cured. Every week, group members spoke about their ‘sins.’ I was so ashamed that I remained completely celibate until 24 in an effort to change who I am. I’m not alone. A recent investigation in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, reveals gay conversion therapy has not disappeared in Australia, but has gone more underground. According to the article, some school chaplains have even been involved in ‘ex-gay’-type counselling, apparently sometimes even without parental knowledge. How is this legal? We need our Minister for Health and our Prime Minister to condemn conversion therapy and outlaw the practice for minors. I was just 17 when my church recommended I enter a program to turn me straight and I met with the leader of the program. Since 10, I felt ashamed to be gay and believed that something was innately wrong with me. For years I even thought I may be demon-possessed because of the things I was taught as a young person. When I was older, I was still vulnerable and desperate enough to join the program, hoping it would be my cure and help me to be a better Christian. It took years of healing after leaving the program to be proudly gay. But those years still affect me somewhat... how could they not? I don’t want to see a single kid harmed by “therapies” telling them that something that is innate in them is evil or demonic or needs to be ‘healed’. Please, sign this petition calling for Malcolm Turnbull and the Health Minister Greg Hunt to protect the most vulnerable and outlaw gay conversion therapy and it’s advocacy. It has no place in our medical profession and certainly not in the lives of minors.     Image: shutterstock

Chris _
13,714 supporters
This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to Australian Football League, Andrew Demetriou

I’ve experienced homophobia in Aussie Rules Football first hand -- now it’s time to end it.

This is a terrifying petition to write. But it’s important. I’d like to tell you what it’s like being a gay footy player, because today there’s a real chance we could begin to change the culture of homophobia in the AFL. I’ve played amateur footy every season since I was five - almost all in the Yarra Valley league. I was raised in a household that lives and breathes the game. But when I realised I was gay the idea that my teammates might find out was terrifying. It’s a blokey culture -- and gay slurs are a regular part of games and training. It’s a horrible reminder that you’re different, reviled and unwelcome. It felt like the footy club would be the one place I could never come out. Whether it’s intentional or not, the reality is that the culture of the AFL is hostile to fans and players like me. Young gay people are up to 6 times more likely to be depressed, to self harm, or to contemplate suicide. I was 12 when I realised I might be gay, and footy was my life. It was a really hard time for me and if I had known of positive gay role models in society, in football, it would have made a world of difference.  The AFL has done amazing work tackling racism -- now it’s time for the AFL to take real and substantive action to build a culture where people like me are welcomed and supported - and where homophobia is simply not acceptable. Last week, the AFL issued a statement saying it supported the No to Homophobia campaign ( It’s a great first step, and now the AFL needs to do more. I believe if the AFL and Andrew Demetriou are serious, they should show the No to Homophobia ad on the big screen at the Grand Final, and even add it to the footy record. It'd show to the hundreds of thousands of people watching that this time their commitment is real. They should commit to a Pride Round, just like they have done with the Multicultural and Indigenous Rounds -- it would have a massive impact in building a more inclusive and respectful culture towards the GLBTI communtiy in sport.It was my teammates who eventually told me they knew I was gay, and that it wasn't an issue for them. I think I'm pretty lucky to have such a supportive group of players around me - especially in a regional town. It could have gone the other way - and it's no wonder to me that there are no openly gay players in the AFL. I know how they feel. But I think the players are ready for change. The clubs are ready for change. The supporters are ready for change. We just need the AFL to lead and help shift the sporting culture so that players and fans like me can openly be who we are without fear.*****I want to show the AFL that there are other players and fans just like me -- who’ve experienced the highs and lows of being gay and intimately involved in the sport we all love. *** Please tweet about this campaign at #aflpride and join this facebook group if you want to help be part of creating a more inclusive and welcoming culture for gay people in the AFL:

Jason Ball
29,296 supporters