Equality Tasmania has launched a new campaign calling on the State Government to scrap its conversion therapy bill and draft a new version.
The campaign will dispel myths about a ban on conversion practices and encourage Tasmanians to sign an Open Letter to the Government.
Equality Tasmania has identified the following points in the current bill as problematic:
- Adopts a narrow, inaccurate definition of conversion practices that doesn’t address the role of the false, misleading and pseudo-scientific claims that underpin such practices.
- Defines conversion practices as “a health service”, and says not all are harmful.
- Exempts conversion practices by anyone who calls themselves a “health care provider”.
- Exempts “beliefs”, “guidance”, “assistance” and “support” that could include conversion practices.
- Exempts conversion practices where there has been “consent”, even though informed consent is not possible due to the fraudulent nature of conversion practices and the life-long conditioning that most people who undergo conversion practices experience.
- Exempts conversion practices that insist on celibacy for LGBTIQA+ people.
- Allows the majority of conversion practices to go unchallenged by including all these exemptions.
- Doesn’t make provision for pro-active investigation or education – the two most important tools for addressing conversion practices.
- Relies on conversion survivors to make complaints and prove harm rather than government officials
- Sets the bar for prosecution so high it’s unlikely anyone will ever be held to account.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said: “The Government’s bill has so many exemptions it will actually encourage conversion practices rather than stop them.”
“Our campaign will reach tens of thousands of Tasmanians with the message that the Government’s bill is worse than useless, needs to be scrapped and a new one written.”
“Given the Government isn’t listening to survivors it’s time to take our message to the people.”
“I encourage everyone who opposes conversion practices to sign the Open Letter and share the videos on our campaign page.”
Survivors of Tasmanian conversion practices Bronwyn Larkins said:
“The bill offers more protection to conversion practitioners than to those of us who suffered at their hands.”
“It mocks the great emotional effort we expended telling our personal stories.”
“Tens of thousands of Tasmanians will now have access to my story and the stories of other survivors, which I hope will educate the community about the need for legislation that will actually work.”
Equality Tasmania’s campaign will promote a range of videos on social media in which survivors, doctors, researchers and people of faith explain why conversion practices must be comprehensively banned, not given a green light.
To sign Equality Tasmania’s open letter, visit equalitytasmania.org.au/sign-the-open-letter.
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