Geraldton Anglican Cathedral ‘conversion’ event sparks peaceful opposition

Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
Kim Canny, Avalon, Zain Laudehr, Kath Jones, Sam Bentink and Brooke Bennett.
Camera IconKim Canny, Avalon, Zain Laudehr, Kath Jones, Sam Bentink and Brooke Bennett. Credit: Lisa Favazzo

Community members — both LGBTQIA+ and allies — are planning peaceful opposition to a conversion event at Geraldton Anglican Cathedral on Saturday night.

Australian Christian Lobby State director Peter Abetz will present speakers who formerly identified as gender or sexuality diverse but claim to have left it behind after finding God.

Queer woman and Out Mid West member Sam Bentink said the group wasn’t attacking the church or any faith, wanted to ensure LGBTQIA+ individuals in Geraldton knew there was a vibrant community to get behind.

“Some people may find they have been through a process of faith and found themselves in a different place, and we are not attacking their stories and saying it is wrong,” she said.

“We are saying there is harm that happens when this is shown as the only way to reconcile your faith with gender and sexuality.”

Community member Kath Jones said: “My biggest fear as a parent is that this type of event may put young people off reaching out for support.”

The group has opened dialogue with the Cathedral, hoping to foster understanding.

Cathedral acting dean the Rev. Dr David Seccombe said: “If they come, I’ll talk to them.”

In a letter to the Geraldton Guardian, Mr Abetz said the event would explain the Victorian law changes to ban conversion therapy and include presentations from people who had “left behind their LGBTQ identity”.

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