The legislative body of Queensland, Australia is discussing a breakthrough initiative introduced last November. After legalizing same-sex marriage in 2017, an immediate question that arose was to ban gay conversion therapy that is considered extremely harfmul by many experts. Up to now, however, this practice has been legal being a disaster for the entire LGBTQ community in Australia. Luckily, the years of torture may be over very soon if passed by the local parliament. The legislators, however, are seeking clarification for the list of the procedures that should be banned. While making the bill outright is quite important, Australian LGBTQ community urgues the MPs to clarify and pass it as soon as possible. That is to stop “highly destructive” practices as Steven Miles, Queensland Health Minister put it.
The bill is harshly opposed by the Australian Christian community. “Conversion therapy is vaguely and very broadly defined. The bill as it stands potentially criminalises biologically sound and medically factual responses to students by school counsellors and possibly even classroom teachers,” read the statement of Mark Spencer,from the Christian Schools Australia. What is truly vague is who allowed to apply barbarian practices and call them “treatment” including electric shock therapy. The overall statement of Mr. Spencer himself is actually quite vague. It remains unclear what he means under “biologically sound and medically factual responses to students”. The reason behind the opposition to the bill is actually straightforward. It proposed up 18 months in jail for offenders.
If the bill passed, Queensland could provide an excellent example for other states including Victoria where the similar question is also currently being under consideration. As for international practice, conversion therapy is already illegal in many countries including US (19 states and 2 territories), Brazil, Ecuador, Malta and Taiwan. Hopefully, the green continent will be next to abolish conversion therapy and let LGBTQ people be free in their orientation.