ACT Legislative Assembly passes ban on LGBTIQ+ conversion therapy

The Australian Capital Territory has passed a bill that will see LGBTIQ+ conversion therapies banned across the territory.

The legislation has been passed two years after Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s government announced their intention to address the issue, and follows Queensland as the first state to outlaw the practice.

Conversion therapy survivor Chris Csabs told the ABC he hopes the changes will ensure LGBTIQ+ people don’t see themselves as broken.

“This idea that homosexuality or your gender identity is caused by something that is not positive, whether it’s trauma or abuse or whatever, means therefore that it can be fixed and it needs to be fixed,” Csabs said.

“That’s just pseudoscience.”

Under the new legislation, people will face fines of up to $24,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment for performing a “sexuality or gender identity conversion therapy” on a child or individual with an impaired decision-making ability.

The offence will not allow any exemption for parents who wanted to submit their children to such therapeutic treatments, and will also apply if they took their children out of the state for any treatment.

The legislation will not outlaw practices which help people express their “gender identity” or that person’s “coping skills, social support or identity exploration and development”.

OIP Staff

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