Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Gender and Sexual Orientation
I inform the chamber that Senator Pratt will also be sponsoring this motion, and I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1027 standing in my name and the name of Senator Pratt by deleting the words 'legislate for the criminalisation of such practices' from paragraph (c) and replacing them with the words 'advocate to the states and territories to ban such practices'.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the alarming practice of so-called conversion and reparative therapies on LGBTIQ+ people continue in Australia,
(ii) the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Amnesty International and a number of religious and community
leaders have called for the criminalisation of such practices,
(iii) the conversion movement extends further than formalised therapeutic practices, with gender and sexual orientation
change efforts pervading an unknown proportion of religious groups, faith-based organisations, schools and the counselling industry, and
(iv) all LGBTIQ+ people should be able to live and practise faith without pressure to change or suppress their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;
(b) calls on all parliamentarians to:
(i) condemn all forms of gender and sexual orientation change efforts,
(ii) acknowledge the harm that these practices cause to individuals, families and communities, and
(iii) support interventions to stop the broader conversion movement pervading religious groups, faith-based organisations, schools and the counselling industry in implicit ways; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to advocate to the states and territories to ban such practices.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 provides protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status in areas of public life. Conversion therapies aim to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, and there is no scientific or medical evidence to support their use. This issue is one for states and territories to monitor and take appropriate action. For example, the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner can investigate unregistered doctors and health service providers making unethical representations—including conversion therapists. Queensland and Western Australia are also considering whether law reform is needed to outlaw this therapy.
Question agreed to.