Labor, Greens Promise To Ban Anti-Gay Conversion Practices In Tasmania If Elected

Labor, Greens Promise To Ban Anti-Gay Conversion Practices In Tasmania If Elected
Image: Labor's Rebecca White (centre) with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Image: Facebook

Labor and Greens have committed to important LGBTQI law reforms, including a ban on anti-gay conversion practices in Tasmania if elected. 

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

“A Rebecca White Tasmanian Labor Government will build on Tasmania’s long-term support for LGBTIQA+ rights by introducing a range of measures including a dedicated Ministerial portfolio of Equality so the LGBTIQA+ community has a loud and powerful voice inside government,” Ella Haddad Shadow Minister for Equality said in a statement. 

Minister For Equality

Labor’s election manifesto for the LGBTQI community has committed to appointing a Minister for Equality, a ban on conversion practices, funding for Equality Tasmania, delivering an LGBTQIA+ Framework and action plan, funding for LGBTQIA+ service delivery and support and enacting new provisions to address hate crime. 

Haddad said that a Labor government would scrap the current Liberal Party’s bill to ban gay conversion practices and “present legislation that would actually achieve a ban on these harmful practices, and protect Tasmanians from the trauma they inflict”.

“The current Bill does not do that and could have the reverse effect of in fact increasing conversion practices in Tasmania and make things worse,” Haddad said. 

‘Most Comprehensive LGBTQI Election Policy’

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome welcomed Labor’s commitments to the LGBTQI community.  

“This is the most comprehensive LGBTIQA+ election policy Tasmanian Labor has ever presented because it covers law reform, services, representation and setting long-term goals,” Croome said. 

“Labor’s plan for an effective ban on conversion practices, better hate crime laws and financial redress for historic convictions are very welcome, as is its commitment to funding Equality Tasmania so we can advocate for LGBTIQA+ people in need. Most Tasmanians want our island to be friendly, open, equitable and inclusive, and it’s heartening to see Labor recognise this aspiration and rise to it.”

Working It Out CEO, Lynn Jarvis said that Labor’s plan would improve health and wellness outcomes for LGBTQI Tasmanians.  

“Having an Equality Minister will also mean advocacy at the highest level for the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community,”  said Jarvis. 

Greens Take A Stand Against Conversion Practices

The Greens’ policy, unveiled by Greens’ leader, Dr Rosalie Woodruff, has also committed to an effective ban on anti-gay conversion practices. Other commitments include implementing an LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Act, enacting a law to prohibit medically unnecessary interventions on children with innate variations of sex characteristics, increasing funding for LGBTQI communities, setting up a Pride Centre and improving school inclusion by establishing Pride groups. 

Working It Out CEO Jarvis said it was “pleasing to see the Greens’ commitment to banning medically unnecessary interventions on children with innate variations of sex characteristics because these interventions can cause long-lasting physical and mental scars.”

Croome welcomed the Greens’ commitment to law reforms and strong stand against conversion practices.

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