Everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect. LGBTQ+ are whole, valid, and loved just the way they are. No practice that attempts to change or suppress a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation is acceptable.
The Victorian Government has recently introduced a Bill to outlaw damaging LGBTQ+ conversion practices.
This Bill sends a powerful message that LGBTQ+ people are whole and valid just as they are, and establishes powerful mechanisms to deal with incredibly harmful practices that LGBTQ+ people endure across Victoria. In general terms, the Bill:
- Prohibits a wide range of harmful practices informed by the view that sexual orientation and gender identity can or should be changed or suppressed and facilitates education and consent based facilitation to end those practices
- Enables the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to investigate serious or systemic practices directed at changing or suppressing sexual orientation and gender identity
- Criminalises those practices that result in injury or serious injury, as well as advertising of conversion practices
- Introduces new protections for people born with intersex variations and non-binary people in anti-discrimination laws, and updates existing definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity
The Bill has been introduced after comprehensive consultation, and is being welcomed by survivor groups. Nathan Despott from survivor-led advocacy group Brave Network says that “the Victorian Bill is vastly better than any bill developed in Australia to date” and describes the legislation as a “powerful Bill”.
We need to keep the pressure on to ensure the Bill will have broad support in the Victorian Parliament so we see the passage of this world-leading legislation. While no law can fix a complex social problem on its own, this Bill is a great step towards ending the incredible harm caused by attempted LGBTQ+ conversion practices.
If you’re in Victoria, make sure your MP knows you want the Bill passed! We’ve made a start on a letter, that you can delete or edit as you see fit. Make sure you change the subject line! Your postcode will ensure that it gets to your local member.
Our top tips to writing a great letter are:
- Be concise
- Give personal reasons to explain why this issue is important to you
- Always be polite
Not in Victoria? You can still help end LGBTQ+ conversion in Australia. Show your support for banning these harmful practices everywhere.