Australia's Senate Passes Motion To Ban Conversion Therapy

The Green Party welcomed the move to ban conversion therapy while at the same time criticising the Prime Minister's lack of action.


Australia’s Green Party brought forward a motion seeking to ban gay conversion therapy nationwide in the country, with the Senate passing it without opposition. Although the ruling coalition party believe that the ban should not be nationwide and it should be up to each state to introduce the ban, they did not oppose the motion.

Senator Janet Rice, the Green Party’s LGBTIQ+ spokesperson, welcomed the decision while criticising the Prime Minister’s earlier remarks about gay conversion therapy:

“For the Prime Minister to dismiss this as an issue that’s ‘not for him’ is an absolute disregard of duty.”

Rice went on to proclaim, “This is an issue for him and the Senate has just confirmed it.”

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, told Australian radio presenter Neil Mitchell that the issue of conversion therapy was not “an issue” for him. He said, “I’ve never been involved in anything like that, I’ve never supported anything like that, it’s just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue.”

Morrison also said, “I respect people of all sexualities, I respect people of all religions, all faiths. I love all Australians.”

Scott Morrison also recently made controversial comments regarding transgender youth and gender identity, claiming that there has been a “surge” in the number of transgender young people because teachers “are on the lookout for potential transgender children.” The new Prime Minister caused outrage online when he tweeted, “We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.”

Hitting back at the Prime Minister’s controversial comments, Senator Janet Rice explained, “Young LGBTIQ+ kids already suffer enough without the hateful comments coming from the Prime Minister.”

Gay conversion therapy is already illegal in the Australian state of Victoria, and it now looks as though it might be outlawed nationwide.

Meanwhile, moves towards banning of the harmful practice are being made globally, with the UK set to ban gay conversion therapy and the EU urging member states to do the same. The practice is also banned in 14 US states.

The Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 passed its second stage in the Seanad earlier this year, bringing Ireland closer to prohibiting
such practices from being carried out.

Australia has also recently seen another stride toward LGBT+ equality in the country, with the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA), one of Australia’s three major Australian Christian denominations, announcing that they will endorse same-sex couplings from September 21. Gay and lesbian couples will now have the option of a church ceremony, although ministers will be allowed to refuse to marry same-sex couples if it goes against their personal views on marriage.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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