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Australian Labor party plans to ban conversion therapy if elected

Patrick Kelleher April 22, 2019
Australian Labor party plan to ban conversion therapy if elected

Bill Shorten, leader of Australian Labor party (Tracey Nearmy/Getty)

The Australian Labor Party will ban conversion therapy across the country if they win next month’s election.

The party will officially announce plans to ban what they have said is a “dangerous and discredited practice” on Tuesday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor party, also intends to introduce a dedicated LGBTI human rights commissioner as well as providing an additional $10 million in HIV funding.

He will also reportedly amend laws to better protect trans and intersex people in the workplace.

The Australian Labor party will reportedly work with survivor groups on the laws

The new policies will make the Australian Labor party the first party in the country to make a commitment to ban conversion therapy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that full details of the party’s plans are yet to be released—however, it is understood that they intend to work with survivor groups and states to end conversion therapy in Australia.

It is anticipated that the party will face backlash from religious groups for the proposed measures.

“These activities—commonly referred to as ‘gay conversion therapy’—claim to be able to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity.”

– Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews

Conversion therapy is widely considered by LGBT+ groups and campaigners to be a harmful tactic that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The practice has been condemned by various health and psychiatry bodies across the world.

A UK survey of conversion therapy survivors released earlier this year found that one in five people who had experienced the practice had attempted suicide.

Despite this, conversion therapy remains legal in most parts of the world.

Australian Labor party plans to ban conversion therapy if elected
Australian Labor party leader Bill Shorten (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty)

Australian state of Victoria announced plans to ban conversion therapy earlier this year

Earlier this year, the Australian state of Victoria announced that they were planning to ban the harmful practice.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, made the announcement at Midsumma Pride in February.

Andrews—who is a member of the Labor Party—decided to introduce the ban after an extensive investigation was carried out by the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC).

The investigation found that those who had been subjected to conversion therapy experienced psychological harm and distress.

The HCC recommended that legislation be introduced that would ban the form of “therapy.”

Speaking at the Pride event, Andrews said conversion therapy is an “evil practice” and said it had peddled “shame and stigma.”

“These activities—commonly referred to as ‘gay conversion therapy’—claim to be able to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity.”

“What they really are is a most personal form of torture, a cruel practice that perpetuates the idea that LGBTI people are in some way broken,” he said.

More: Australia, Australia, ban, Bill Shorten, conversion therapy, Labor party

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