Community welcomes passing of LGBTQA+ conversion ban in NSW 

22 March 2024 – Survivors and Equality Australia have welcomed the passing of landmark legislation banning LGBTQA+ conversion practices in NSW. 

The NSW government bill passed 22 votes to 4 early on Friday morning after an all-night sitting of parliament. 

 “This is a historic step in the journey for LGBTQA+ people in this state and the first major reform for our community in almost a decade,” said Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown. 

“It is a landmark moment for our state, where the trailblazing 78ers first bravely stepped out of the bars and into the streets in protest. 

“This law will save countless people from a lifetime of pain and in some cases save lives. 

“It sends a powerful message that we are whole and valid, just as we are.” 

Ms Brown thanked the survivors who worked tirelessly over many years to make this law a reality. 

“They have shown courage, fortitude and incredible bravery in putting an end to these practices that deny the humanity of LGBTQA+ people,” Ms Brown said. 

The new law criminalises conversion practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and cause serious mental or physical harm.  

It also provides redress to survivors through a civil pathway and makes it illegal to take someone out of NSW to undergo a conversion practice.  

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board can also disseminate information, conduct research and hold public inquiries about conversion practices. 

“NSW has finally put an end to these archaic and harmful practices which have caused untold harm and have no place in modern Australia,” Ms Brown said.  

Legislation banning these practices has already been passed in Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand while Tasmania and South Australia are considering reforms. Queensland has a ban on conversion practices in health settings.  

CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI), Anthony Venn-Brown: 

“At last sanity has prevailed and conversion “therapy” is banned in New South Wales. 

“This ends a 23-year journey for me attempting to raise awareness of the devastating impacts and lives lost as well as supporting thousands of survivors of the variety of practices disguised as Christian “support”. 

“This legislation not only signifies that we are firmly rooted in the 21st century but also sends a powerful message: telling LGBTQ individuals that they are inherently flawed and in need of change belongs to a bygone era. 

“Moreover, it serves as a sobering warning to those who’ve promoted those messages that there will be consequences of the harm they have inflicted, no matter how well-intentioned it is.” 

Sydney based conversion practice survivor and co-founder of SOGICE Survivors, Chris Csabs said:    

“As a survivor who experienced a number of conversion practices over an extended period of time in NSW, I am overwhelmed by a mix of emotions. I am thrilled that my home state has finally drawn a line in the sand to say that LGBTQ+ people deserve to live in a state that is free from this kind of discriminatory and deeply harmful practice. 

“SOGICE Survivors looks forward to working with the NSW Government during implementation and review to ensure the Civil Scheme reaches the gold standard set in other jurisdictions.” 

Teddy Cook Director, Community Health at ACON: 

“The passing of this Bill into law is a momentous step forward to ensure LGBTQ+ people across NSW are accepted and valued. LGBTQ+ people are a gift to be cherished – we are not broken and will continue to thrive as exactly who we are. 

“These practices are unethical, don't work and have been proven to be harmful for all LGBTQ+ people.”  

Media Contact: Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au, Emily Mulligan, emily.mulligan@equalityaustralia.org.au