Anti-gay Australian MP Fiona Simpson has been announced as the new Speaker of Queensland’s parliament. Ms Simpson will be the state’s first ever female Parliamentary Speaker.

An advocate of so-called “reparative therapy” – i.e. “curing” LGBT persons – she once stated back in 2002 that gay people could, in her opinion, “grow into heterosexuality over time.”

Ms Simpson is a conservative Christian and was formerly the shadow minister responsible for communities and women. She encouraged people “struggling with their sexuality” to get in touch with Exodus ministries, an offshoot of a Christian “ex-gay” organisation who claim to cure people of homosexuality.

With her appointment, Ms Simpson’s decade-old speech – made during discussion of anti-discrimination law changes in November 2002 – has been freshly scrutinised. However, she has refused to clarify whether she still supports “ex-gay” therapy.

More recent controversy arose at the end of 2011 when she argued against former Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser’s plans to introduce a bill legalising same-sex civil unions.