Equality Australia welcome moves to ban conversion practices in WA

December 2, 2022 – Ending Conversion Practices WA has welcomed an announcement by the West Australian Government that it will ban conversion practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“We celebrate this announcement and welcome the day when LGBTQIA+ people will be safe from the harms caused by conversion practices,” said Mark FallowsChair of Ending Conversion Practices WA

Mr Fallows commended the survivors who spoke to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Esther Foundation and unregulated private health facilities. 

“We are committed to working with the McGowan Government to ensure legislative reforms are informed by the lived experience of conversion practices survivors,” he said. 

“We also look forward to seeing strong support services for affected individuals, considering that one in ten LGBQTIA+ people are vulnerable to conversion practices.”

“We have done a vast amount of work, before and during the inquiry, and we urge the McGowan Government to continue working directly and constructively with us going forward,” concluded Mr Fallows.

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said conversion practices caused serious and ongoing harm to LGBTQ+ people. 

“These damaging practices deny the wholeness and humanity of LGBTQ+ people and find no support among any medical or psychological professional association,” said Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown

Ms Brown commended the grassroot survivor-based approach of Ending Conversion Practices WA and their tireless advocacy. 

“They have fought long and hard, and now finally, their struggle and sacrifice has been rewarded with a commitment,” she said. 

“It is now essential for the WA government to follow the lead of Victoria, New Zealand and the Australian Capital Territory in prohibiting conversion practices no matter where they occur, including in religious settings, and ensuring a civil response scheme is in place to prevent harm from occurring in the first place.”

The Esther Foundation parliamentary inquiry report recommended that a prohibition on conversion practices only in health settings would be insufficient, and a civil response scheme was needed to properly address LGBTQ+ conversion practices. 

Media contact: Tara Ravens, 0408 898 154. tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au