Equality Australia welcomes call from AMA to ban LGBTQA+ conversion practices

February 9, 2023 – National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia has welcomed calls to ban LGBTQA+ conversion practices from Australia’s peak medical body. 

The Australian Medical Association’s LGBTQIASB+ 2023 position statement, published this week, calls on state and territory governments to ban practices that intend to change, alter or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“There is strong agreement among the medical profession in Australia that conversion practices have no medical benefit or scientific basis, and that there is evidence of significant harms resulting from such practices,” the statement said. 

The NSW Government is expected to introduce a bill to parliament this year after both Labor and the Coalition backed a ban before the state election in 2023. 

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown called on the NSW government to urgently act on its commitment. 

“Our community urgently needs this reform and we are looking forward to the government delivering on its election promise with a bill this year,” she said. 

“These practices deny the humanity of LGBTQA+ people and find no support among any medical or psychological professional association.” 

The AMA statement said conversion practices were rooted in the “false assumption” that sexual orientations other than heterosexuality, and gender identities other than cisgender, are “mental disorders that can and must be altered”. 

“We are not ‘broken’ or in need of ‘fixing’ and it’s time for the NSW government to properly protect LGBTQA+ people from the life-long harm caused by conversion practices,” Ms Brown said. 

“The AMA statement reflects what we already know and that is conversion practices are still happening to people around NSW. They deny the humanity of LGBTQA+ and cause pain that lasts a lifetime.” 

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