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Gay conversion therapy to be banned in the ACT

Ian Bushnell 4 November 2019 38
The ACT is LGBTIQ+ friendly

The Government’s action plan aims to make Canberra the most LGBTIQ+ welcoming and inclusive city in Australia. Photo: File.

So-called gay conversion therapy will be banned in the ACT by the end of 2020 under a new Government plan to improve the lives of LGBTIQ+ Canberrans.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Government will introduce legislation to prohibit the unfounded practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions.

Mr Barr said it was time to put an end to it.

“LGBT Canberrans are not sick or unnatural and we do not need to be ‘changed’, ‘cured’, ‘converted’, ‘healed’ or whatever term is used [to describe] practitioners’ harmful and outdated ‘conversion therapy'”, Mr Barr said.

He said legislation would be backed up by non-legislative measures aimed at education, prevention and support.

Gay conversion therapy does not have any scientific or medical support, can be harmful and other jurisdictions in the world have outlawed it.

Called Capital of Equality, First Action Plan 2019 and 2020, the new Government strategy includes a range of initiatives to counter discrimination, provide supports and services, raise awareness and educate the community.

It aims to make Canberra the most LGBTIQ+ welcoming and inclusive city in Australia.

The plan says the Government will amend the Births Deaths and Marriage Registration Act 1997 to make it easier to change birth registration and birth certificates for trans and gender diverse people, particularly young people.

This will create a single form for changing one’s sex and name.

The Government will work with intersex people, human rights organisations and healthcare professionals on how the prohibition of deferrable medical interventions on intersex people could operate in Canberra.

It will move to support young people more by funding programs in schools including continuing the Safe and Inclusive Schools initiative and making sure teachers and educators get good guidance about supporting their students.

The Government will also develop a central information hub so LGBTIQ+ people can find services and supports in Canberra, and support initiatives for mainstream services to pledge that they are LGBTIQ+ inclusive.

It will prioritise doing business with organisations that provide inclusive and non-discriminatory services to the public, and advertise vacancies on ACT Government boards and committees in a way that directly targets LGBTIQ+ people and communities.

The plans say community-based organisations will be funded to deliver targeted, peer-led services for LGBTIQ+ people, their families and communities.


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38 Responses to Gay conversion therapy to be banned in the ACT
Anna Francesca Clancy Anna Francesca Clancy 2:04 am 05 Nov 19

Thank goodness! Can’t believe it still exists here! Ridiculous! Shameful practice!

Harriet Torrens Harriet Torrens 2:47 pm 04 Nov 19

This is still actually a thing. For real? In 2019? Jesus.

Tim Thornley Tim Thornley 10:58 pm 03 Nov 19

Naomi Rees another step forward. Shame it has taken so long.

    Naomi Rees Naomi Rees 6:15 am 04 Nov 19

    Tim Thornley certainly is a go ahead place huh

    Tim Thornley Tim Thornley 7:00 am 04 Nov 19

    Naomi Rees it's a big part of what I like about our community. Obviously I don't agree with everything but it is refreshing to live in a places that looks for a better way forward.

    Naomi Rees Naomi Rees 7:03 am 04 Nov 19

    Tim Thornley yes for sure

Helena Geyer Helena Geyer 8:32 pm 03 Nov 19

How is it not already banned?! And in the ACT one of the most progressive jurisdictions in the country

Imants Ezergailis Imants Ezergailis 8:04 pm 03 Nov 19

And change their age if they identify as someone younger ??

Same argument!!! 😂😂😂

Fred Pilcher Fred Pilcher 7:58 pm 03 Nov 19

What took them so long?

Jay Annabel Jay Annabel 7:40 pm 03 Nov 19

why can't it be banned right now?

Tony Armstrong Tony Armstrong 7:14 pm 03 Nov 19

Surely those in favour of conversion are the ones that need therapy

    Jayne Carter Jayne Carter 7:27 pm 03 Nov 19

    Tony Armstrong or are they being pressured by family? Or do they feel they will be unaccepted.

Roberta Lynne Anning Roberta Lynne Anning 7:13 pm 03 Nov 19

For all of those asking why the wait until the end of 2020, there's an election next year.

Ian Brown Ian Brown 6:57 pm 03 Nov 19

So no more render reassignment being done to 3 year olds

    Kirsten Connor Kirsten Connor 7:10 pm 03 Nov 19

    If you're referring to surgery done on underage intersex kids then I agree wholeheartedly. If you're talking about trans boys and girls though then you are misinformed that it actually happens.

Kate Carey Kate Carey 6:54 pm 03 Nov 19

Surely to Dog this isn't actually still a THING????

Lorynn Vanovič Lorynn Vanovič 6:51 pm 03 Nov 19

Ellen Murray positive step but 2020 is a long wait.

Angela Thomas Angela Thomas 6:43 pm 03 Nov 19

It's not compulsory so if someone chooses to engage in it, why should they be denied the opportunity? I would have thought it was a personal choice thing.

    Scarlett Butler Scarlett Butler 6:45 pm 03 Nov 19

    Angela Thomas except parents are forcing children to go to it.

    Debbi Fluke Debbi Fluke 6:46 pm 03 Nov 19

    Angela Thomas because often vulnerable people are coerced or forced into it

    Vanessa Essam Vanessa Essam 6:46 pm 03 Nov 19

    Angela & there is no evidence for it but loads of evidence for huge negative impacts on the MH of those who go through it.

    Geoff Rey Geoff Rey 6:57 pm 03 Nov 19

    Parents are also forcing their children into religion. Why isn't that banned?

    Joanna PM Joanna PM 7:07 pm 03 Nov 19

    Geoff Rey one day!

    Ashley Latimer Ashley Latimer 7:23 pm 03 Nov 19

    Because it's a scam, and does more damage mentally to the person than good.

    Ashley Latimer Ashley Latimer 7:24 pm 03 Nov 19

    Geoff Rey it should be - religion is also a farce.

    Warwick Alsop Warwick Alsop 7:38 pm 03 Nov 19

    But is it even a thing in Canberra?

    Paul Dowden Paul Dowden 7:41 pm 03 Nov 19

    Warwick, Belconnen? I think so. I went to Bunnings there today.

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 6:32 pm 03 Nov 19

Getting rid of the rainbow roundabout may help too!!

    Luke Bennett Luke Bennett 6:36 pm 03 Nov 19

    Jorge Gatica you’d prefer rainbow traffic lights?

    Shane Richards Shane Richards 6:45 pm 03 Nov 19

    Luke Bennett lasers would be pretty cool...🤔

Toni Brooks Toni Brooks 6:22 pm 03 Nov 19

2020? There should be no reason to wait a year to ban this horrible practice that is unethical on every level.

Thanus Songprasart Thanus Songprasart 6:11 pm 03 Nov 19

Why the end of 2020. This could be banned right now and everyone will be happy.

    Henry Kivimaki Henry Kivimaki 7:47 pm 03 Nov 19

    Thanus Songprasart so, whos the everyone?

    Thanus Songprasart Thanus Songprasart 8:08 pm 03 Nov 19

    Henry Kivimaki ones that see positivity in people.

Wayne Warton Wayne Warton 6:04 pm 03 Nov 19

There is no place for this nonsense in any civilised society. But is it really still being done? Who is doing it? What happens if someone wants to do it thinking it helps them?

    Ashley Latimer Ashley Latimer 7:25 pm 03 Nov 19

    Some parents are forcing their children into the therapy.

    Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 9:49 pm 03 Nov 19

    Anyone who thinks they are doing a loved one a favour by referring them to such 'therapy' needs to be referred themselves towards resources that explain that sexuality is not a choice or an error and does not require 'conversion'.

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