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Survivors tell Queensland it must change its ‘useless’ new ‘conversion therapy’ ban

Survivors tell Queensland it must change its ‘useless’ new ‘conversion therapy’ ban

  • The Australian state ignored survivors’ advice when writing the law.
Annastacia Palaszczuk.

LGBT+ survivors of ‘conversion therapy’ have denounced Queensland’s new legal ban on the practices as ‘useless’ and says it must update the law.

The Australian state passed the ‘ban’ on ‘gay cures’ earlier this month. But the bill exempts religious organizations – which survivors say makes it basically ‘useless’.

That’s because religious organizations carry out the majority of attempts to change LGBT+ people’s sexuality or gender identity. By comparison, doctors and psychologists rarely engage in the ‘therapies’ because they know they are dangerous and pointless.

Now Australians who have survived ‘conversion therapy’ have written to Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

In the letter they ask her to promise to change the law to cover religious groups if she wins re-election in October.

Nathan Despott, from survivor group Brave Network, said:

‘Only a tiny portion of people who have survived or are still experiencing conversion practices, including children, are helped by this legislation. 

‘It is not just ‘imperfect’ legislation, it is actually dangerous legislation, because it effectively gives permission for the worst offenders to continue.

‘We believe the Queensland Government can do much better than this. We are calling on the Premier to pledge further reform if re-elected in October.’

‘Fraudulent’ claims lie behind the ‘therapies’

Indeed, survivor groups claim they made 13 key recommendations to the Queensland government when it created the legislation. However, it only adopted three of them.

Meanwhile Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) Survivors spokesperson, Chris Csabs added that the law fails to address the ideology behind the ‘cures’. He said:

‘The false claims at the heart of conversion practices are grounded in pseudoscientific concepts thoroughly rejected by Australia’s peak psychological health bodies.

‘While often masked as theological, these concepts must be viewed as therapeutically fraudulent.’

Equal Voices Queensland and Uniting Network have also endorsed the letter.

Meanwhile leading Australian LGBT+ groups Just-Equal and PFLAG+ have also criticized Queensland’s law. They worry other parts of Australia will base their own bans on it.

Just-Equal’s Brian Greig, said: ‘The Queensland model is a shining example of what not to do.’

‘Conversion therapy’ bans around the world

Queensland’s intervention comes at a time when more states and countries are considering ‘conversion therapy bans’ than ever.

So far only Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan and Germany have introduced legal bans.

However, Israel, Canada, The Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Australia and Chile are also considering outlawing ‘conversion therapy’.

There are already bans in 20 US states: New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Utah and Virginia as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

Moreover, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for the presidency, has promised he will ban the ‘therapies’ if he gets to the White House.

Meanwhile international LGBT+ organization ILGA World predicted 2020 could be a breakthrough year on the issue worldwide.