Anti-trans group Binary petition against WA conversion therapy ban

Anti-transgender organisation Binary have launched a petition to block a conversion therapy ban in WA, claiming the McGowan Government are planning to introduce a bill similar to Victoria’s ‘gold-standard’ ban.

Binary have a history of rallying against the rights, health and wellbeing outcomes of trans and gender diverse folks, as well as the wider LGBTQIA+ community, with spokesperson and former Senate hopeful Kirralie Smith recently linking gender diversity to Covid-19.

Binary’s campaign mirrors that of the Australian Christian Lobby, who also warned followers of a ban in WA after the passage of Victoria’s new laws.

The petition, hosted on the organisation’s website, says the group is not advocating for “harmful coercion practices of the past”, but rather “acceptance of biological reality.”

“We believe that a WA Conversion Therapy bill will offer very vague definitions of conversion therapy that are too broad and imprecise,” the petition says of the as-yet-unwritten bill.

“A WA Conversion Therapy bill will discriminate in favour of gender transition treatments which involve chemicals, hormones and invasive surgical practices that can leave young people sterile and rob them of the chance to have children of their own.”

Ahead of the 2021 state election, Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook did touch on conversion therapy, but no real commitment was made to outlawing the practice here in WA.

In a statement responding to LGBTQIA+ advocacy group just.equal, a spokesperson for WA Labor said the party was opposed to harmful conversion practices, and that they had no place in Western Australia.

The statement highlighted that Health Minister Roger Cook has publicly warned public and private psychologists that they may in breach of their professional code of ethics and code of conduct for undertaking any practices  that attempt to change sexual orientation, and he has strongly encouraged people to report breaches to the relevant authorities.

There were no new commitment in that statement, Cook said this in 2018 and first made a commitment to look at the legislation all the way back in 2017 when he spoke to Triple J’s Hack program. Cook told the program there were no plans to introduce specific legislation.

The McGowan Government has indicated it will tackle the issue of an unregulated counseling sector. Psychologists are registered, undertake years of study and supervised practice, but there’s a whole other level of people offering counseling services. Practitioners with lower qualifications, or no qualifications at all. This was highlighted last year via the case of serial con-man Tyson Vacher opening a counseling practice.

WA Labor is committing to clamping down on an unregulated counseling sector, but has not made any mention of specific legislation to band conversion therapy practices, nor have they suggested that they will tackle the issue within religious based institutions.

OIP Staff

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