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WA: Conversion therapy laws are coming

Last Thursday the members of the 41st WA Parliament were sworn in.

The March 13 landslide election victory has delivered 53 seats out of 59 in the Legislative Assembly to Labor, and in May when the Legislative Councillors are sworn in, 22 out of 36 seats in the Legislative Council.  

This will allow Labor to push through its legislative agenda, which on the opening of parliament was announced to include banning so called “gay conversion therapy.”

The Labor Government has indicated it plans to ban gay conversion therapy through implementation of the National Code of Conduct for unregulated health workers.   

As we know the main targets of conversion therapy legislation are Christian counsellors, Christian therapists and Christian support groups, we expect the Government will legislate to make pastors and counsellors subject to this code. 

However, in September last year the Hon Alannah Clohesy said:

“Separate legislation, similar to Victoria’s, could be considered in the future if the national code of conduct was not effective in preventing gay conversion therapy.”

Prior to the election, Premier McGowan refused to rule out introducing legislation similar to the Victorian Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021.

As a result, WA State Coordinator, Peter Abetz along with James Parker of True Identity, held dozens of events to highlight the draconian and freedom-destroying nature of this law. Last week over 500 people participated in two webinars that included the powerful testimonies of local people, who through counselling, spiritual help, and therapy, have been able to leave behind their LGBT identity. 

We will shortly launch a campaign to inform MPs that many people have left behind their LGBT identity through counselling, therapy and spiritual help. 

We must ensure that the legislation does not remove the right of people experiencing unwanted same sex attraction or gender dysphoria from being allowed to access life changing ‘therapies’ of their choice.

 

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