Agricultural MLC Sandra Carr says local leaders must do more to support Mid West LGBTQIA+ people

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Sandra Carr MLC at Geraldton Port.
Camera IconSandra Carr MLC at Geraldton Port. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian

Mid West leaders must step up to support the wellbeing of their LGBTQIA+ communities, says Agricultural MLC Sandra Carr.

Her comments come after the City of Greater Geraldton defended its decision to allow the Australian Christian Lobby — which has been slammed by groups like OUT MidWest as “demonising” LGBTQIA+ people — to hire Queens Park Theatre, pictured, for an event this week. ACL WA co-ordinator Peter Abetz told the Guardian the lobby group had “always tried to be very respectful of people who hold a different view” and rejected claims of ACL events being “hateful” towards LGBTQIA+ people.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Ms Carr applauded the City of Greater Geraldton for making clear its stance on gender equality by signing the Community, Respect and Equality Agreement. But she said this position of values must filter through to decision making processes “across the full range of services it offers”.

“Our community leaders must be prepared to take a stance on things more important than the issue of whether one can don a pair of board shorts for a particular ceremony,” she said.

Ms Carr said an issue to be addressed by all levels of government was conversion therapy, which was based on the “erroneous” principle that being LGBTQIA+ was “a mental illness that must be cured”.

“In the case of conversion therapy, the harms are direct ... thus the responsibility to care for our young people falls directly at organisational decision makers’ feet,” she said.

“For those left alarmed, traumatised, upset or angered by the ill-informed judgement of decision-makers: I am here. I support you. You are not alone.”

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