Amendments to Gay Conversion Therapy Called for by Advocates

Advocates have called for a total ban on gay conversion therapy during an investigation into an institution that allegedly practiced the practice on its residents.

Advocates are calling for stricter bans on gay conversion therapy, which they say can still be used in religious environments despite government restrictions.

They are calling for a complete ban on the practice, not only in medical settings, but also in religious and educational contexts.

The Western Australian Parliament is currently considering a legislative amendment to ban conversion therapy by introducing a national code of conduct for non-regulated healthcare professionals.

LGBTQA+ groups say the amendment will leave the door open for religious groups to carry out practices that have historically caused untold grief and trauma to many of those who have experienced it.

The Esther Foundation, a religious women’s rehabilitation center, is currently under parliamentary investigation and was placed under management earlier this year following reports of abuse and violence, including attempts at homosexual therapy.

In a joint submission to the Ending Conversion Practices investigation, WA and Youth Pride Network said the government’s proposed changes would “do little to address the harm” simply by banning practices in healthcare settings.

“The lack of effective policy and regulation regarding LGBTQ+ conversion practices may leave the door open for people exposed to proven harm and trauma caused by such practices,” the statement said.

There are now total bans on gay conversion therapy in all settings in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, punishable by fines and jail time.

The results of the investigation are due to be presented to parliament in December this year.

Originally published as Call for Stronger Bans on Gay Conversion Therapy in Religious Institutions