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LGBTQ+ community victory as conversion therapies ban closer

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Conversion therapy could become outdated, as the government seeks to have the “intolerable” LGBTQ+ directed practices banned. 

The move is part of the current government’s election promise made in February 2023. 

The Minns’ government recently introduced a bill to Parliament to make conversion practices illegal in NSW.

Conversion practices, which can include so-called “conversion therapy” and suppression practices, are formal or informal practices based on the ideology that LGBTQ+ people have a “disorder” or require treatment.  

Evidence shows that conversion practices are dangerous and damaging. 

“LGBTQ+ people are fine just the way they are,” says Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council Penny Sharpe. 

“There is no place in NSW for harmful conversion and suppression practices. 

“Thank you to advocates from the LGBTQ+ community, in particular victim survivors who have told their stories so that others will no longer be harmed.” 

The Department of Communities and Justice and NSW Ministry of Health led a working group who consulted extensively with a range of stakeholders prior to the outcome. 

“Every person in NSW deserves to be respected for who they are and that’s exactly what these new laws will do,” NSW Premier Chris Minns said.

“It is intolerable that we have a situation in NSW where children can be told something is wrong with them and that they need to be fixed. 

“I’ve personally met with survivors of conversion practices and know how important it is that we put an end to this.” 

Stakeholders included members of the health, education, legal and government sectors, faith and multicultural organisations, LGBTQ+ community advocates and victim-survivors, academics, and researchers, as well as others nominated by these stakeholders as having relevant views or expertise. 

It’s hoped the legislative reform will protect LGBTQ+ people, while acknowledging and respecting longstanding religious and cultural beliefs and practices. 

During consultation, the government considered legislation in other jurisdictions where conversion practices are outlawed, including in Victoria, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, New Zealand and Canada. 

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