Victoria has led the way in banning gay conversion therapy after an announcement by the State Government during Melbourne’s Midsumma Pride Festival last weekend.
The laws will denounce and prohibit LGBTI conversion practices, ending the bigoted practice that has caused so much trauma to too many Victorians.
The Australian-first ban follows an extensive investigation into conversion practices by the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC), who found those subjected to it experienced long-term psychological harm and distress.
The HCC recommended legislation be introduced to clearly and unequivocally denounce conversion practices and prohibit them in law – a recommendation the Victorian Government accepted in full.
The Government has also given in-principle support to funding counselling and support services for survivors and will work on developing a comprehensive and tailored package of support for survivors.
Speaking at the announcement, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the laws follow on from other LGBTI friendly changes such as establishing Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, delivering adoption equality legislation and making an historic apology to Victorians convicted for homosexual acts.
“So called ‘conversion therapy’ is not therapy at all,” said Premier Andrews.
“It is a harmful, prejudiced and discredited practice – and soon it will be against the law.”
Victorian Minister for Equality Martin Foley said development of legislation to denounce and prohibit conversion practices will begin immediately and will include extensive consultation with survivors, the LGBTI Taskforce and community and faith-based organisations.
“Conversion practices have caused untold trauma to too many Victorians – who were made to feel ashamed for who they were and who they loved,” said Minister Foley.
“We’re banning these practices forever and for good.”