Chinese lobby group formed to oppose same-sex marriage and safe-schools
Rachel Baxendale, The Australian, 14 June 2017
The Australian Chinese community has founded a not-for-profit group to mobilise against same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program.
Co-founder and Sydney GP Pansy Lai was behind a petition to the NSW government that last year gathered 17,500 signatures from Australian Chinese community members opposed to Safe Schools.
Dr Lai said she was overwhelmed by the response to her petition and had been inspired to form the Australian Chinese for Families Association, which launches this week. “I didn’t realise until I did the petition just how many people there are out there who are really concerned about Safe Schools,” she said.
“After we lodged the NSW petition, parents from other states got into contact with us, wanting to know what they can do to tell the government they don’t want their children being taught this inappropriate program.
“These are normal, everyday Australian Chinese parents and grandparents. There are no politicians among us.”
The group also opposes same-sex marriage.
Dr Lai said as a GP specialising in pediatrics, she opposed Safe Schools, which is designed to prevent the bullying of homosexual and transgender children, because it was “not scientific or evidence-based”.
“It’s really important to take into account that these children are still underage,” she said.
“This would be fine in a university program, but schoolchildren should be a politics-free zone,” she said.
“The other thing that is important is parental consent. If children are going to be taught something that goes against their parents’ values, parents need to be informed and given a choice.”
Dr Lai said she believed her group, which already has several hundred members, represented a large proportion of the Australian Chinese community.
“We’ve got people from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Southeast Asia,” she said. “We definitely represent a large Chinese community, not only in NSW but nationwide.”
Dr Lai said although she was Christian, the organisation was “definitely not” a Christian organisation, and was open to members of all religions and none: “ACF is going to be a voice for many concerned Chinese Australians, and a platform for us to share resources and petitions for our community.”
The establishment of ACF comes as the Parliamentary Friendship Group for LGBTIQ Australians holds a morning tea in Canberra today to launch multicultural resources developed in consultation with Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Korean-speaking communities.
Professional polling commissioned earlier this year by the anti same-sex marriage group Marriage Alliance found key ethnic communities overwhelmingly opposed same-sex marriage. Only 28 per cent of Asians living in Australia said they were strongly supportive of changing the Marriage Act; 75 per cent of Muslims and Hindus “strongly opposed” same-sex marriage.