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Draft conversion Bill doesn’t go far enough

Tasmanian Labor has serious concerns that the minority Liberal government’s draft legislation to ban damaging conversion practices in Tasmania does not go far enough.

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute recommended a ban on conversion practices 18 months ago but the government has been dragging its feet ever since.

While Labor welcomes the government finally releasing a draft Bill for consultation, the legislation needs to be comprehensive to ensure no-one is subjected to conversion practices in our state.

It is well known that conversion practices do happen in Tasmania, often under the guise of either health treatment or theology.

LGBTIQA+ attributes are not faults or dysfunctions and LGBTIQA+ people are not “broken” or in need of “therapy” or “counselling” to change who they are attracted to or how they express their gender. These practices cause lifelong harm to people subjected to them.

It is vital that any Bill seeking to ban these dangerous practices is able to capture them all, no matter where they are being delivered.

To do otherwise would be to allow a loophole for people to continue to inflict this harm and risks Tasmania becoming a safe haven for these practices as other states move to ban them in all settings.

Tasmanian Labor has continued to hold the Government to account to bring forward laws to ban conversion practices and we will continue to hold them to account to ensure the laws introduced are comprehensive.

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