Amid the relatively minor spat last week about the ACT government's proposed legislation to ban sexual and gender conversion practices, it's worth stopping for a moment to wonder why such a topic is even up for debate.
Will there ever be a time when a person's sexuality won't be a topic of discussion, let alone heated debate, particularly in the education sector?
Whether a person is a child, at a vulnerable and confused stage, or a young adult struggling to find a sense of identity, the idea that so-called "conversion therapy" is still a real-life practice that needs addressing is disappointing, to say the least.
And yet, if the ACT government finds itself needing to address this issue via what should be straightforward legislation, it needs to get it right the first time.
It was forced to intervene last week when a Christian school sent out a letter warning of a possible "end point" of such legislation were it to pass.
It urged parents to oppose the legislation banning conversion practices, lest they run the risk of criminal action for teaching Christian values.
The letter said proposed legislation was so broad it could force parents, teachers and health professionals to agree with a child experiencing confusion about their sexuality and gender.
It quoted legal advice received by Christian Schools Australia, which claimed if a five-year-old girl told her parents she wanted to be a boy, criminal proceedings could be brought against her parents, school, teachers and doctor if they continued to treat her as a girl.
A subsequent article in Catholic Voice claimed the legislation would make it an offence even to have a conversation with a child, and would therefore be removing the rights and responsibilities of those caring for children or vulnerable people.
The government has countered both the letter and the article by maintaining the legislation was both human rights-compliant and properly constructed to ban harmful 'curative' conversion practices and treatments.
A government spokeswoman also pointed out while a parent or teacher did not have to agree with a child, they could not take active steps to change that child's sexual or gender identity.
"The bill does not in any way interfere with a parent's right to care for their child according to their religious beliefs, unless that involves clear and damaging practices that seek to 'cure' or 'convert' their sexual or gender identity," she said.
But the government will now make amendments to both the legislation and the explanatory statement to ensure there is no vagueness or room for misinterpretation as to the bill's intent or effect.
This is the right approach; there is no point in dismissing these concerns as far-fetched, no matter how tempting it may be.
They exist and are indeed prevalent in our community, as witnessed in the lead-up to the introduction of national legislation permitting same-sex marriage.
The fact remains that no matter their stance on sexuality, Christian schools and other such organisations must have a say if they are the ones who could potentially be most affected by the legislation.
It is, however, disappointing that even such a relatively straightforward measure to protect young people struggling with their sexuality should become so fraught and subject to misinterpretation.