Same-sex marriage: Sydney doctor in 'No' ad denies advocating conversion therapy

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Studies show 'no harm or distress' to people using conversion therapy, says Doctor Pansy Lai, although rejects claims her organisation, the Australian Chinese for Families Association, supports it.

The Sydney doctor who appears in the new ‘No’ campaign on same-sex marriage says she’s received strong support from the Chinese community opposing the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

But Pansy Lai has also rejected claims her Australian Chinese for Families Association advocates gay conversion therapies.

Ms Lai is a staunch opponent of the Safe Schools program and warns about the program in the new campaign ad.

The Association’s website reportedly links to a newsletter promoting treatment therapies for people who wanted to change their sexual orientation.

Ms Lai said that was a translated article from an external study and denied she was pushing conversion therapy.

“Not true - there is no way in my website that we say people need to go through conversion therapies.

“I’m just saying the study results. I’m not personally saying that.”

But Ms Lai said there is no harm in people undergoing such treatment.

“For some people at least who wish to change, the study shows there is no harm.

“I am saying there are studies that have studied some people who have undergone these treatments and it has the results ... that there is no harm or distress.”

Ms Lai also disputed whether biology is separated from gender while arguing there is a small minority of people who present cases of ‘gender dysphoria’.

“We’re not saying that there are not a group of a small minority of people who really do have gender dysphoria,” she told SBS World News.

“The credible sources tell us that that is about 0.001. So those children need specialist care and mental advice and everything that we can do to improve their health outcome.”

Ms Lai said a NSW Education Department review also concluded that gender ideology is non-scientific.

“To actually teach kids in schools... that your biology is different to your gender- and I’m quoting from the [Safe Schools]“OMG I’m Queer” resource, ‘there is your wiggly wobbly bits and your gender is in your mind and that changes with how you feel’ - that is completely non-scientific, there is no evidence."

Backing from ethnic communities

Ms Lai, who set up the Association on concerns about the Safe Schools program, says she’s received the strong backing of the Chinese community who want to preserve traditional family values.

“We have at least thousands of people who participate in this group and a lot more just talking to my immediate circles as well as on social media.

“You just really feel it from the Australian-Chinese community that, ‘No we don’t think that’s the best thing for our community’.

“We don’t discriminate against anyone, we believe that everybody has the freedom to choose their own lifestyle. But changing the Marriage Act is going to affect everybody.”

She says she’s also been contacted by members of the Indian and Lebanese communities about their concerns about changing marriage laws, as well as concerned parents.

“The parents that I have been talking to over the past couple of days they’ve been saying I’m so glad that the truth is out there,” Ms Lai said.

“We’re not saying that, you know, you should definitely vote no or yes. We’re saying that we all need to pause and hear the consequences and everybody can decide based on what they think.

“People who know me know that I don’t hate anybody, they know that I really feel that this is the truth and this needs to be spoken.”

Ms Lai, who’s used cases in Canada about parents losing rights to withdraw their kids from certain programs to warn of the ‘consequences’ of gay marriage, dismissed claims she was using anecdotal evidence to quash the campaign for marriage equality,

“I’m a parent and it’s not pleasant to be going on national TV talking about such an unpleasant topic such as Safe Schools.

“It’s not anecdotal, it’s credible evidence that have told us that these things will actually play out in this way. People need to hear the truth.”

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