Queensland becomes first Australian state to outlaw gay conversion therapy

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08/13/2020

Queensland has become the first state in Australia to criminalise so-called gay conversion therapy after regional lawmakers voted on Thursday to make the practice illegal. Under the new law, healthcare professionals could face up to 18 months in jail for attempting to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity using practices such as aversion therapy, hypnotherapy and psychoanalysis. “The ban sends a clear message to Queenslanders that conversion therapy is harmful in all contexts,” said Peter Black, president of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health. “It is important that there are penalties for this dangerous and discredited practice,” Black told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “There continues to be a need for education and further research on the harms of conversion therapies, as well as support for survivors of conversion therapies.” Moves around the world to outlaw the practice, which involves attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, have gathered pace in recent months.

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