Queensland Becomes First State In Australia To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy
Queensland has become the first state in Australia to ban gay conversion therapy.
Politicians voted in favour of the legislation on Thursday in a bid to protect adults and children from being subjected to practices that aren't rooted in science or moral conscience.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles addressed parliament during the historic moment and explained the 'therapy' has no place in the Sunshine State.
"Being LGBTIQ is not an affliction or disease that requires medical treatment," Mr Miles said. "No treatment or practice can change a person's sexual attraction or experience of gender."
Under the new law, a healthcare professional who tries to convert a LGBTQIA+ person into straight person or suppress their sexuality could face up to 18 months behind bars. The legislation specifically mentions aversion therapy, hypnotherapy and psychoanalysis as ways of conversion.
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Malta, Brazil and Germany have all banned the use of the 'therapy' and Israel has made moves to do the same.
The decision from Queensland politicians has been praised by experts in the community.
Peter Black, president of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: "The ban sends a clear message to Queenslanders that conversion therapy is harmful in all contexts.
"It is important that there are penalties for this dangerous and discredited practice. There continues to be a need for education and further research on the harms of conversion therapies, as well as support for survivors of conversion therapies."
As of 2018, at least 10 organisations continue to offer and practice gay conversion therapy in Australia and New Zealand.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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