The historic laws were passed in parliament house in Brisbane. Image: Shebalso under CC BY-SA 2.0

Queensland Outlaws Gay Conversion Therapy

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Queensland has become the first Australian state to criminalise gay conversion therapy with penalties up to 18 month in prison.

New laws were passed by the Queensland Parliament to ban health service providers using therapy that "attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity". Penalties include up to 18 months behind bars. The laws do not apply to pastors and unregistered councellors within religious organisations.

The law was welcomed by LGBT adovcate groups.

"This ban sends a clear message to Queenslanders that conversion therapy is harmful in all contexts and that people should be nurtured and protected so they can live and love without fear of abuse, ridicule or exclusion," Peter Black, president of Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, said.

There is effort across the globe to criminalise conversion therapy. Canada is introducing legislation; as are the ACT, South Australia and Victoria.

Queensland is traditionally a conservative state so it is refreshing to see it ahead of the curve on this important issue.

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