The Australian Christian Lobby has challenged attempts to ban so-called ‘LGBT conversion therapy’ as lacking evidence with bans wreaking broad collateral damage to legitimate health approaches to youth sexuality and gender dysphoria.

“It is a welcome win for common sense that yesterday the Queensland parliamentary health committee rejected the Health Minister’s draft bill to become Australia’s first jurisdiction criminalising so-called LGBT ‘conversion therapy’,” ACL Qld director Wendy Francis said on Saturday.

In tabling the report on the Health Legislation Amendment Bill, the committee referenced 1,100 Australian Christian Lobby supporters who had made their voice heard through their submissions on ‘conversion therapy’.

Whilst the report rejected the current draft of the bill, two Liberal-National Party MPs went further in a dissenting report, saying there was “little value” in seeking to redraft the conversion therapy provisions. The MPs proposed that the bans should be abandoned or voted down. 

The state’s peak legal body (Qld Law Society) pointedly described the ‘conversion therapy’ section of the bill as ‘unworkable’ in a public briefing while the state’s peak medical body (AMA Qld) also opposed it.

“A chorus of common sense rang out in opposition of the ‘conversion therapy ban’ element of this bill, across many social divides,” Mrs Francis observed, “The overwhelming majority of submissions and presenters rightly wish to preserve legitimate clinical interventions, such as exploring mental health or other issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Were this bill to pass, dysphoric children would have no options other than therapy affirming their current nominated gender with associated hormone blockers and sex-change hormones - even irreversible surgery.”

“There is much force in the dissenting report’s call for retreat,” Mrs Francis concluded, “The bill was a sledgehammer aimed at a pea that nobody is certain is even there.”