The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute this week launched a public consultation on banning conversion practices. Tasmanian LGBTIQ equality advocates welcomed the SOGI conversion practices consultation.
The TLRI’s Issues Paper, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conversion Practices canvasses a number of issues. They include the definition of conversion practices, the ideology behind it, the harm caused and also what penalties should apply.
The paper describes Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) practices as attempts “to ‘convert’ someone who is homosexual or transgender into a heterosexual or cisgender person.”
The institute states that contemporary evidence indicates the practices still continue to occur across Australia.
Queensland and the ACT recently passed laws to ban SOGI conversion practices. Victoria is also preparing to ban them.
The TLRI describes the Issues Paper as a basis for a public discussion on SOGI conversion practices in Tasmania. The TLRI want feedback from the community, government and
stakeholders on both the Issues Paper and possible reforms to Tasmanian law.
Following the paper’s release, Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said his organisation welcomed the consultation.
“Clinical studies show that attempts to change or suppress sexual orientation or gender identity or to portray LGBTIQ people as somehow ‘broken’, cause immense harm. In fact, Australia’s leading medical and psychological organisations condemn conversion practices.”
“Unfortunately, conversion practices are still inflicted in Tasmania today, often on vulnerable young people.”
“We encourage LGBTIQ people who have survived conversion practices to tell their personal stories to the TLRI so it understands how deep the trauma can be.”
“I want to assure people of faith this is not about religious freedom. It is about the false claims and pseudo-scientific practices inflicted on LGBTIQ too often in the name of religion.”
The public consultation closes on January 7th. More details, including an online survey, can be found here.
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