LGBTQ+ conversion practices appear set to be banned in NSW after both major parties have announced their support for a ban. Last week, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns promised to ban conversion practices if elected at the state election in March. Today, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced “in-principle” support for a ban. He also called it a “complex matter” which would require careful consideration.
Victoria, Queensland and the ACT have all outlawed a range of practices aimed at trying to ‘change’ a person’s sexuality or gender identity. In Victoria, the legal definition includes any practice to change or suppress a person’s sexuality or gender identity or to pressure them to do so, regardless of whether the person consents. This may include psychotherapy, medication, or targeted prayers.
The NSW Proposal
The proposal in NSW has been led by independent MP Alex Greenwich, who has promised to introduce a bill to outlaw conversion practices. The details of Greenwich’s bill have not been finalised, but he has indicated a similar approach to Victoria. Greenwich also proposes a number of other LGBTQI+ inclusion measures to be considered, including gender affirming state documentation and improved consent practices for medical procedures for people with intersex variations.
Minns has promised NSW Labor will introduce its own Bill to outlaw conversion therapies if elected. Perrottet has announced in principle support for Greenwich’s bill, including its other components, but has noted the government would need to consider the details of any specific proposal.
Balance of Power
In the event that neither major party wins a majority in the NSW lower house in the state elections in March, Greenwich’s decision about who to support could be crucial in deciding who wins government. In recent weeks, Greenwich has suggested the major parties’ positions on conversion practices would influence his decision about who to support.