Minns Government Commits To Introducing Bill To Ban Anti-Gay Conversion Practices This Year
Premier Chris Minns’ Labor government has said that it would bring in a law to ban anti-gay conversion practices in NSW by the end of this year.
This comes after media reports about the Australian Christian Lobby claiming that the government had paused its plans for the legislation following its lobbying against the law.
A government spokesperson told Nine Newspapers that the government was on track to introduce the Bill by the end of 2023.
Earlier this year, Minns’ government indicated that it would draft its own legislation to outlaw anti-gay conversion practices, instead of supporting out gay Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s omnibus Equality Bill.
Greenwich’s bill is modelled after the “world-leading legislation” in Victoria that bans so-called conversion therapy in all settings, including religious.
Follow Victoria’s Lead
LGBTQI advocacy and survivor groups welcomed the government’s latest announcement but said that any law must ensure complete protection from such harmful practices.
“Our community has been waiting decades for this reform and we welcome the government’s commitment to act on their election promise with a bill this year,” Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said in a statement.
“These practices deny the humanity of LGBTQ+ people and find no support among any medical or psychological professional association. We are not broken, disordered or in need of fixing.”
According to Brown, NSW must follow the lead of laws enacted by Victoria, ACT and New Zealand that ban conversion practices in all settings.
“Any scheme to end conversion practices will only be effective if it is inclusive of all practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including health and religious settings, and include a civil scheme focussed on stopping conversion practices before they cause harm,” said Brown.
Its Time To Protect LGBTQI People
Sydney-based conversion practice survivor and co-founder of SOGICE Survivors, Chris Csabs said that the government needs to commit to an effective law. “What we really need commitment on is the quality of the legislation. Halfway is not enough, conversion practices of any kind do not belong in New South Wales,” said Casbs.
“If the bill has adequate protections, it will save lives and make NSW a safer place for LGBTIQ+ people, said “Anthony Venn-Brown, CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI).
Anti-gay conversation practices have caused “untold suffering”, said Brown, adding the pain “lasts a lifetime, many of which are ultimately cut short because of the damage done to them. It’s time to ensure LGBTIQ+ people are finally protected from the life-long harm caused by conversion practices.”