LGBTI global news 24-7

Australian state parliament passes motion against ex-gay therapies

The Legislative Assembly of the Australian state of New South Wales passed a motion today condemning attempts to treat homosexuality as a treatable condition
Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenich
Photo by Australian Marriage Equality

Openly gay independent MP for Sydney has had a motion opposing attempts to treat homosexuality as a treatable condition passed by the New South Wales (NSW) state Parliament.

Greenwich’s motion, passed by the NSW Lower House, states that therapies attempting to turn gay people straight do not work, stigmatize gay men and lesbians and are fundamentally damaging to mental health.

‘Reparative therapy has been condemned by Australian, New Zealand and US psychological organizations, yet at least 10 organizations still practice it in Australia,’ Greenwich said today.

‘Embedded in its theory is the notion that homosexuality is somehow a disorder that can be “fixed” and an immorality that must be healed. Many who have experienced reparative therapy develop psychological conditions including obsessive addictive behaviors, depression and suicidal ideation.

‘Today the NSW Parliament delivered a strong statement that there is nothing wrong or abnormal about being gay. I hope this message gets to vulnerable and isolated LGBTI youth in rural and regional NSW.

‘Homosexuality is neither a disorder nor immoral and most Australians find reparative therapy offensive. I welcome the agreement of the NSW Parliament on this. I believe that we should move to protect vulnerable people coming to terms with their sexuality, promote support and acceptance within faith communities and schools and outlaw this futile and damaging practice.'

MPs who spoke on the motion included openly gay Liberal MP for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith, Labor MP for Macquarie Fields Dr Andrew Macdonald, Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker, and independent MP for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper.

All the MPs who spoke to the motion highlighted the dangers of ex-gay reparative therapy and the damage it causes vulnerable gay and lesbian people.

Greenwich will now refer the transcript of the debate to the parliament’s Health Care Complaint Committee inquiry into the promotion of false or misleading health related information or practices in the hope that it will recommend formal action against so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapists.

Comment on a news story