News, Queensland

Queensland to ban anti-LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’

The Queensland government is set to ban anti-LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ this week.

The so-called treatments, which may be run by religious or secular organisations, range from counselling to physical interventions to forced marriage intended to make a person heterosexual or cisgender.

Survivors of gay conversion have slammed the practices as useless and dangerous, as have international health and human rights experts.

The Queensland legislation, set to be passed this week, will criminalise health practitioners offering such therapies to change someone’s orientation or trans status, Brisbane Times has reported.

Health Minister Steven Miles said in November when introducing the bill that conversion practices had always been unethical but would now be outlawed.

“To young people out there who might hear this, who are still figuring out who they are, there is nothing wrong with you,” Miles said.

“If one day you fall in love with someone the same gender as you, there is nothing wrong with you.

“You can’t be fixed because you are not broken, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong – your government supports you.”

The Queensland government has introduced other progressive LGBTQ legislation in recent years.

In 2016, the age of consent was standardised to 16 years, after previously being 18 years for anal sex.

In 2017, the ‘gay panic defence’ was scrapped, bringing Queensland into line with other states.

People who commit murder can no longer have their charges reduced based on homosexual ‘advances’ by the victim.

Advocates have welcomed each move to progress LGBTQ rights in the state.

Queensland remains one of the few Australian states requiring trans people to undergo sterilising genital surgery before correcting their birth certificates.

Other states, most recently Tasmania and Victoria, have enacted laws allowing trans people to change the sex on their birth certificates without any requirement for surgery and to almost any description they wish.

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