Harriet Shing MP said the legislation is an important move to 'recognise the pain and the trauma and the hurt of victims and survivors.'
SHING, above, Victorian’s Parliament’s only openly gay MP, welcomed the passing of a Bill passed on Thursday that makes it illegal to attempt to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill carries a penalty of 10 years’ jail or fines up to $10,000.
The Bill passed parliament on Thursday evening by 27 votes to nine, in what some MPs have labelled “one more step in the fight for full equality”.
It also gives investigative powers to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and the ability to refer matters to police.
Shing took to Twitter to celebrate the success.
It was hard, and it was full of pain and distress. But we did it. And we got there together. Thank you for making me brave. I hope I did you proud.
To be convicted under the new legislation, three criteria must be met beyond reasonable doubt – the practice must be directed at an individual, occur on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and have the aim to change or suppress that person’s identity.
However, the legislation did not come without opposition. The Bill drew the attention of many religious, medical and legal groups, concerned it may have “unintended consequences.”
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) said the Bill was overly broad and could risk parents or caregivers being charged for simply having conversations with their children about their gender or sexuality.
The passing of the Bill came two years after research showed that up to 10 per cent of LGBT Australians were still vulnerable to so-called conversion therapy, much of it taking the form of faith-based counselling or pastoral activities steeped in the belief that homosexuality is a form of “brokenness” that ought to be fixed.
The report, by La Trobe University and the Human Rights Law Centre, recommended new state laws banning conversion therapy against minors, and legislation preventing health practitioners, social workers and teachers from engaging in any activities designed to change or suppress a person’s sexuality or gender identity.
The ban will no doubt infuriate a far-right British lunatic called John Allman, above, an ardent supporter of gay conversion therapy and a devout opponent of LGBT lessons for kids. The numbskull calls such lessons “the queering of primary schools.”
The Christian clown, conspiracy theorist and Trump lover, frequently insists insist that conversion therapy is “a hoax.”
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