“Bigoted quackery has no place in this state.”
That’s what Victorian premier Daniel Andrews had to say about his decision to ban gay conversion therapy.
The state will introduce new legislation to ensure the practice is against the law.
“For far too long and for far too many Victorians, an evil practice has... peddled in shame and stigma,” Andrews said.
He labelled gay conversion therapy a personal form of torture and said the practice perpetuates the idea that LGBTI people are in some way broken.
Gay, bi and trans people don't need to be 'cured' – because there's absolutely nothing wrong with them. And if you think otherwise, maybe there's something wrong with you.
'Conversion therapy' destroys lives.
It creates shame and stigma. That’s why we’re doing this: pic.twitter.com/g56gzcKoN4
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) February 2, 2019
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) called on the remaining states and territories to follow Victoria’s move, saying children and adults should not be disadvantaged due to their location.
Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said: “It astounds me that in a country as progressive as Australia, such harmful methods that claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are still being practiced.
“The Health Complaints Commissioner’s inquiry report released in 2018 found depression, overwhelming feelings of guilt and ongoing anxiety were experienced by survivors of such ‘treatments’.”
In a La Trobe University report on conversion therapy in Australia, a joint project with the Human Rights Law Centre and Gay & Lesbian Health Victoria released late last year, researchers said it remains a real problem in Australian religious communities.
Anna Brown, director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, called for stronger laws and support for survivors, as well as education about the harm caused by the cultural ideas and messaging prevalent within faith communities.
“We particularly urge governments across the country to respond to the acute vulnerability of children and young people in religious communities,” Brown said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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