Commit To Banning Anti-Gay Conversion Practices, LGBT Group Tells Tasmania’s Political Parties

Commit To Banning Anti-Gay Conversion Practices, LGBT Group Tells Tasmania’s Political Parties
Image: Spokesperson for Equality Tasmania, Rodney Croome. Image: Rodney Croome/ Twitter

In the lead-up to the state elections in Tasmania, LGBTQI advocacy group Equality Tasmania said they will seek a commitment from all parties and independents to bring in a ban on anti-gay conversion practices and enact LGBTQI law reforms if they are elected. 

Two years after the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute called on the state to prohibit conversion practices, the Liberal government has yet to pass a law. A proposed bill by the government was panned by LGBTQI advocates, who said it actually seeks to protect perpetrators. 

“Conversion practices continue to cause deep harm to LGBTIQA+ Tasmania,” Rodney Croome, Equality Tasmania spokesperson said in a statement. 

“We will be seeking commitments from all parties and independents for an urgent and comprehensive ban on conversion practices that goes further than the weak and counterproductive bill put forward by Attorney-General, Guy Barnett, in December.”

Bill Protects Perpetrators

In a piece for Star Observer in February 2024, Croome wrote the proposed bill “allows conversion practices if they are in the name of religious belief or parental guidance if they are for the purposes of support and assistance, and if the victim ‘consents’.”  Survivor groups, health and legal experts and advocacy groups had called for the bill to be scrapped. 

Equality Tasmania also identified other areas of LGBTQI law reforms, including, “a ban on medically unnecessary surgeries on children with variations of sex characteristics, better hate crime protections for LGBTIQA+ people, a dedicated LGBTIQA+ mental health service, community education on the issues facing trans and gender diverse people, a Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ communities and funding for the State Government’s LGBTIQA+ Action Plan and Framework.”

“We will conduct a survey of parties and independents, and hold a candidate forum, to better inform the LGBTIQA+ community and our friends and allies about where the parties and independents stand on our issues,” said Croome. 

The state elections in Tasmania are scheduled to be held on March 23, 2024. 

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