NSW Premier pushes forward with conversion therapy ban

New South Wales Labor government has restated their commitment to bringing in bans against conversion therapy practices.

Last week the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) told their supporters that they had successfully had the proposed legislation put on “ice” following the campaign against the laws.

A spokesperson for the premier has however denied there is any truth to the claim, promising the government will introduce the legislation before the end of the year. Previously the bill has not been expected before 2024, so it looks like the boast from the Australian Christian Lobby has backfired spectacularly.

An email to supporters from Michelle Pearse the new CEO of the Australian Christian Lobby thanked followers for their “strong pushback” had put the proposed laws “on ice”.

“NSW’s dangerous conversion therapy laws have been put on pause, no doubt influenced by our phone campaign,” Pearse said noting that staff and volunteers at the lobby group had made over 8,000 calls to politicians.

A spokesperson for the premier said the legislation would be introduced soon.

“Labor made an election commitment to ban LGBTQ+ conversion practices, consultation was the first step in developing our own bill to bring to Parliament – this will happen by the end of year,” a government spokesperson said.

Wendy Francis, the ACL political director said her group had no opposition to bans that stopped people being exposed to “torturous” practices, but there needed to be provisions to allow people to pray for LGBTIQA+ people. Francis also said there was no proof the conversion therapy was actually occurring in the state.

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown welcomed the government’s commitment to introduce a bill this year.

“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.” Brown said.

The Western Australian government has vowed to bring in similar legislation. A recent parliamentary inquiry into WA based facility the Esther Foundation heard testimony from people who had been exposed to practices that could be defined as conversion therapy.

OIP Staff

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