Victorians are being invited to have their say on proposed new laws to ban harmful conversion therapy and practices targeting LGBTIQ people.
Public consultation has begun on the Australian-first proposed laws to ban the dangerous practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual or gender identity.
The Andrews Labor Government has already announced it will introduce laws to denounce and prohibit harmful LGBTIQ conversion practices.
So-called conversion ‘therapy’ is any practice or treatment that seeks to change, suppress or eliminate an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The proposed ban follows an extensive investigation into conversion practices by the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC), who found that those subjected to it experienced long-term psychological harm.
The HCC recommended new laws that would clearly and unequivocally denounce conversion practices.
Victorians are invited to take part in shaping the new laws with the release of a discussion paper through the Engage Victoria website. Giving everyone in the community a say will help to ensure the new laws will target anyone perpetrating this harmful practice and will protect and support LGBTIQ Victorians.
Consultations with a number of key stakeholders, including the government’s LGBTIQ taskforce, conversion practice survivor groups and religious groups will take place on how best to implement the ban.
Consultation will be open for six weeks. The government will then use the feedback and response to inform the shaping of the draft legislation.
The Labor Government has also made a submission to the Federal Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill 2019, expressing concerns that the Bill may hamper Victoria’s work to end the hurt and damage being inflicted through these practices – when offered by religiously affiliated organisations or medical practitioners, or under the guise of religious belief.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy
“We are taking action to ban cruel and insidious conversion practices, which are nothing short of harmful quackery and bigotry.”
“We want to make sure our legislation truly puts an end to anyone peddling these deeply harmful practices in our state.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley
“This is about the best way to end the cruelty and harm of conversion practices and helping survivors heal, and I invite all Victorians to help shape this landmark legislation.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020