One of the mums who features in the first ‘No’ campaign TV ad for same-sex marriage has denied claims she promotes conversion therapy, but doesn’t see the harm in people undergoing such treatment.
Sydney doctor Pansey Lai is the second woman that appears in the Coalition for Marriage’s commercial.
She is also the founder of the Australian Chinese for Families Association, which aims to “bring together the Chinese community throughout Australia who hold to traditional family values and “give a voice to our collective concerns clearly and respectfully”.
The association has been sending newsletters to subscribers that contain misleading information about gay people and promoting conversion therapy for people wanting to change their sexual orientation, according to news.com.au.
One newsletter said there was no evidence that people are born gay, and that the conversion therapies resulted in “lasting change for more than 50 per cent of people studied, with no increases in harm or distress”.
Lai’s association also claimed the conversion therapies work because “we know for a fact that sexual orientation is not necessarily fixed” and “there is no proven single cause of sexual orientation”.
Lai has denied she is promoting such treatments through the Australian Chinese for Families Association.
“Not true – there is no way in my website that we say people need to go through conversion therapies,” she told SBS.
“I’m just saying the study results. I’m not personally saying that.”
However, Lai also said she didn’t see the harm in people wanting to try conversion therapy.
“For some people at least who wish to change, the study shows there is no harm,” she said.
“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.”