Australia’s Senate passes a motion seeking to ban ‘conversion therapy’

karendesuyo via Flickr

The motion came after a series of anti-LGBTQ remarks by Australia’s new Prime Minister.

The Australian Senate has successfully passed a motion that seeks to ban ‘conversion therapy’ across the country. The motion was brought forward by the Australian Green Party.

The motion was passed on the voices, meaning that no one in the chamber opposed the bill. Although the ruling coalition disagreed with a nationwide ban, saying that it should be up to individual states, they did not oppose the bill.

Senator Janet Rice, who tabled the motion and is the Australian Green Party’s LGBTIQ+ spokesperson, praised the passing of the bill and condemned Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s views saying: “For the Prime Minister to dismiss this as an issue that’s ‘not for him’ is an absolute disregard of duty.

“This is an issue for him and the Senate has just confirmed it.”

Earlier this month, Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that gay ‘conversion therapy’ wasn’t “an issue” for him. “I respect people of all sexualities, I respect people of all religions, all faiths. I love all Australians,” Morrison told radio host Neil Mitchell.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like that, I’ve never supported anything like that, it’s just not an issue for me and I’m not planning to get engaged in the issue.”

And not long after those comments, Morrison wrote on Twitter: “We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.”

Rice criticised Morrison for the comments, saying: “Young LGBTIQ+ kids already suffer enough without the hateful comments coming from the Prime Minister.”

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is steadily becoming banned throughout the world, and is already illegal in the Australian state of Victoria. 14 U.S. states currently have banned, or have yet to implement a ban on the harmful and discredited service.

The states where it’s currently illegal are New Jersey, California, Oregon, IllinoisVermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, NevadaWashingtonHawaii and Delaware.

Maryland and New Hampshire have voted to ban the practice, but their bans won’t be put in place until October 1 and January 1, 2019 respectively.

The EU has also voted to condemn the practice, and urged its member states to ban it. And under the government’s new LGBT action plan, the practice is set to be banned in the United Kingdom.

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