Victorian ban on ‘dangerous’ conversion practices long overdue

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have welcomed the introduction of a bill in Victorian Parliament that would outlaw sexuality and gender identity conversion practices across the state.

The Greens have long joined calls from LGBTQA+ survivors for the state government to exercise its power to stamp out the dangerous and discriminatory practices, and say they look forward to voting in support of the bill next year.

Victorian Greens MP Sam Hibbins said conversion practices were based on a bigoted ideology that LGBTQA+ people were ‘broken’ or ‘disordered’, and that it was high time they were outlawed.

He added that we owed it to survivors and those still being targeted today to have the most effective possible laws to do this.

Mr Hibbins said it was good to see the state government propose stronger laws than states like Queensland, by outlawing attempts to change or suppress someone’s sexuality or gender identity in both formal and informal settings.

However, he said that while the bill would help to stamp out any future conversion practices, the new civil response scheme must be properly funded and survivors must be given access to adequate counselling and redress.

He also said there was still a question mark over whether those attempting to deliver conversion practices would face financial penalties through the civil process, overseen by VEOHRC, which Mr Hibbins said was important.

As stated by Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Sam Hibbins MP:

“This reform is long overdue – sexuality and gender identity conversion practices are based on harmful ideology and should have never existed to begin with.

“We’re pleased that the state government has listened to the calls of survivors over the years and introduced strong legislation that will help stamp out conversion practices wherever they occur.

“The Greens look forward to supporting the bill in parliament. We will listen to survivors and closely look at the details of the bill to ensure there is adequate funding to provide survivors with counselling and redress, as well as financial penalties for people found to have delivered conversion practices.”

As stated by Australian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice:

“Other states and territories should be looking to the Victorian bill as a benchmark for what can be achieved when survivors are consulted and centered in the drafting of legislation.

“The federal government has a key role to play in ensuring all the needs and demands of survivors are met. I’ll be taking this issue to Canberra next week to advocate for federal action.”

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