At Midsumma Pride March in February, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews pledged to introduce new legislation to prohibit LGBTI conversion practices, putting a stop to the so-called therapy that continues to cause harm and trauma to many in our communities.
“It’s not LGBTI people who need to change. It’s our laws.” Daniel Andrews wrote for the Star Observer.
“Together, we will drag these practices from the dark ages and into the brightest of lights. The development of these new laws will be led by a panel of experts, including those with policy and legal backgrounds, and with close engagement from our Government’s LGBTI Taskforce. And of course, it will be guided by the voices of survivors – those brave and unwavering individuals who have led this fight from the beginning.”
This week he made good on these words, by inviting Victorians to have their say on the proposed new laws, using the feedback and responses to inform the shaping of this draft legislation.
“Gay, bi and trans people don’t need to be ‘cured’ – because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.” the Victorian Premier said on a Facebook post, “That’s why we’re banning dangerous, damaging ‘conversion therapy, and we’re asking for Victorians’ help to get this legislation right.”
Conversion ‘therapy’ is any practice or treatment that seeks to change, suppress or eliminate an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Andrews Labour Government’s pledge to ban conversion therapy in Victoria has come after an extensive investigation into conversion practices by the Health Complaints Commissioner, who found those subjected to it experienced long-term psychological harm and distress, and recommended legislation be introduced to clearly and unequivocally denounce conversion practices and prohibit them in law.
With consultation open for the next six weeks, this is your opportunity to have your say on how this draft legislation is shaped and help get it right. Conversion practices or any practices or treatments that attempt to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity need to be stopped.
To help people think about the issues at play, they are asked to look at four key areas:
- Definition: what practices should be banned?
- Protection: who should the ban protect?
- Regulation: through what legal method should we apply the ban?
- Religious freedom: how should we balance the human rights affected by a ban?
And you can either fill in the survey online or submit a prepared document.
Submissions close on the 24th November.