Andrew Barr made an impassioned defence of the Safe Schools program on Wednesday, saying he knows enough about being gay in school to know how important it is for gay and gender-diverse teens to be told they are normal.
"Let me make some clear and definitive statements. It is OK to be gay, it is OK to be lesbian, it is OK to be bisexual or intersex, there is nothing wrong with you," he said. "You are not abnormal, you do not deserve to be discriminated against."
Mr Barr, speaking during a debate on the Safe Schools program in the ACT Parliament, said 23 public schools in Canberra – about a quarter of schools – and one independent school had joined the program, aimed at reducing bullying of gay, intersex and gender diverse students.
His message to LGBTI kids was "your rights and your feelings matter to us".