Equality Australia welcomes news NSW Government will introduce bill banning conversion practices this year

October 5 2023 - National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia has joined with survivors to welcome today’s news the NSW government will introduce its own bill banning conversion practices this year.

“Our community has been waiting decades for this reform and we welcome the government's commitment to act on their election promise with a bill this year,” said Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown. 

“These practices deny the humanity of LGBTQ+ people and find no support among any medical or psychological professional association. We are not broken, disordered or in need of fixing.”  

Before the state election earlier this year, both Labor and the Coalition committed to banning LGBTQA+ conversion practices. But Ms Brown warned any legislation must be sufficiently robust for genuine protection.

“Any scheme to end conversion practices will only be effective if it is inclusive of all practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including health and religious settings, and include a civil scheme focussed on stopping conversion practices before they cause harm," she said.

Ms Brown called on the state’s MPs to pass such reforms, saying most people were surprised to learn that LGBTQ+ conversion practices were still legal in Australia’s most populous state. 

“NSW must follow the lead of Victoria, New Zealand and the ACT in prohibiting conversion practices no matter where they occur,” she said.

“These practices cause untold suffering and pain that lasts a lifetime, many of which are ultimately cut short because of the damage done to them. It’s time to ensure LGBTIQ+ people are finally protected from the life-long harm caused by conversion practices.” 

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

“The news that the NSW government has committed to passing legislation this year is encouraging, but what we really need commitment on is the quality of the legislation. Halfway is not enough, conversion practices of any kind do not belong in New South Wales.” 

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

"It’s hard to describe how thrilled I am to hear the announcement that the NSW Government are going to go ahead with a prohibition on conversion practices.

“This will mean so much to so many individuals both within the faith space and also for non-religious people and their friends, families and wonderful allies. If the bill has the adequate protections, it will save lives and make NSW a safer place for LGBTIQ+ people." 

Media contact: Tara Ravens 00408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au