A Greens motion urging the federal government to advocate to states on banning conversion therapy practices in Australia has passed the Senate.
The motion was put forth by Senator Janet Rice, who also used the opportunity to call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stop making “hateful comments” about young trans and gender diverse people.
“I’m pleased the Senate passed my motion to criminalise LGBTIQ+ conversion ‘therapies’ and condemn the broader conversion movement,” she said.
“I hope the Prime Minister is listening, because it was only last week that he said this wasn’t an issue for him to deal with.
“Efforts to change sexual orientation and gender identity and the ideology that drives the broader conversion movement is extremely harmful to LGBTIQ+ people, especially young people, and has potentially fatal consequences.”
Morrison was criticised by the community and advocates for “harmful” and “ignorant” comments about trans youth in schools after previously dismissing conversion therapy as an important issue and saying he sends his daughters to a private school to avoid Safe Schools.
“For the Prime Minister to dismiss this as an issue that’s ‘not for him’ is an absolute disregard of duty,” said Rice.
“His government must act now to stop the conversion movement and work with state and territory governments to ban so-called conversion and reparative therapies in Australia.
“Scott Morrison should start behaving like a Prime Minister and stop his repeated and unacceptable attacks on LGBTIQ+ people, especially his awful comments about young trans kids.
“Young LGBTIQ+ kids already suffer enough without the hateful comments coming from the Prime Minister.”
LGBTI Australians have noted that banning conversion therapy is their top political priority in a recent survey.
I’ve got a message for you @ScottMorrisonMP. Your language and attacks on LGBTIQ+ people are totally unacceptable and harmful.
— Janet Rice (@janet_rice) September 11, 2018
Read the text of the Senate motion below:
To move—That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the alarming practice of so-called conversion and reparative therapies on LGBTIQ+ people continue in Australia,
(ii) the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Amnesty International and a number of religious and community leaders have called for the criminalisation of such practices,
(iii) the conversion movement extends further than formalised therapeutic practices, with gender and sexual orientation change efforts pervading an unknown proportion of religious groups, faith-based organisations, schools and the counselling industry, and
(iv) all LGBTIQ+ people should be able to live and practise faith without pressure to change or suppress their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;
(b) calls on all parliamentarians to:
(i) condemn all forms of gender and sexual orientation change efforts,
(ii) acknowledge the harm that these practices cause to individuals, families and communities, and
(iii) support interventions to stop the broader conversion movement pervading religious groups, faith-based organisations, schools and the counselling industry in implicit ways; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to advocate to the states and territories to ban such practices.
Rice called for an end to conversion therapy back in July, with the passage of today’s motion the most concrete sign of parliamentary progress towards ending what she described as a “sickening” practice.
Amnesty International has added their voice to the chorus calling on government to ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), or conversion therapy.
They have launched a petition which you can sign here.