Controversial conference speakers anger gay community 24 April 2013
A psychiatrist who believes she can cure gayness and a politician who believes marriage is now “meaningless” after New Zealand legalised gay marriage are causing a stir before they’ve even landed in Australia.Several controversial personalities will head to Sydney next month to deliver keynote addresses at the world’s biggest ‘family values’ conference, the seventh World Congress of Families. And they’ve got critics fuming.

The line-up for the conference – which organisers say will ‘make families stronger’ – includes New Zealand politician Bob McCroskie, who said that marriage has no meaning now that gay people are allowed to marry in his country. “Ironically, marriage has become meaningless,” Mr McCroskie said. “We will now be using the word to describe something else … conceived by politics and political correctness. A child has a right to a mum and a dad,” he continued. “We should not set out in public policy to deny a child that basic right. This is not a sexuality issue. This is a gender issue. The gender of the parents does matter to a child.”

Mr McCroskie is joined by Dr Miriam Grossman, a controversial psychiatrist who has prescribed her patients ‘therapy’ where they can ‘learn how to be to stop being gay’ and teaches that sex education is “animated by … crackpot ideology”. Gay rights activist and Sydney MP Alex Greenwich is so fired up about their arrival he has written to the NSW Tourism minister demanding he ensure the conference follows the state’s tough anti-discrimination legislation. “We don’t want a bunch of hateful extremists coming here and spouting off their ridiculous thoughts and views on the gay and lesbian community,” said Mr Greenwich, who is concerned about the effect speakers could have on vulnerable gay and lesbian adolescents.

….Gay marriage advocate Rodney Croome said people who fearmonger over marriage equality are looking increasingly irrelevant. “Advocates against marriage equality would do their cause a favour by asking Mr McCroskie to stay at home,” he said.

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