Central Victorian LGBTIQ+ advocates have welcomed a Victorian bill banning conversion therapy, and have reiterated calls for the federal government to follow suit.
Ben MacEllen highlighted the importance of the Victorian government's plans when they were announced back in 2019.
He said today's progress in Victorian Parliament was a step in the right direction.
"I believe it's something that needs to happen nationally for the LGBTIQ+ community," Mr MacEllen said.
Martyn Shaddick said conversion therapy was inhumane and way out of step with what society's values system should be.
"I'd go as far as to say conversion therapy is tantamount to torture," Mr Shaddick said.
"The banning of it is way overdue."
He said the introduction of a bill aimed at stamping out the practice was a hopeful moment for him, as a member of the LGBTIQ+ community.
Mr Shaddick said he would absolutely support calls for conversion therapy to be banned at a federal level.
LAWS aimed at stamping out conversion therapy will be introduced in Victorian Parliament on Wednesday.
Victorian LGBTIQ+ communities commissioner Ro Allen said the importance of such a reform could not be overstated.
"It will save lives," they said.
The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 would empower the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to respond to reports of change or suppression practices and launch investigations.
The bill would also introduce criminal sanctions for those who subject people to change or suppression practices, including up to 10 years' jail for practices that cause serious injury.
Those subjecting people to change or suppression practices causing injury outside of Victoria could face up to two years in jail.
Advertisers would face a maximum fine of almost $10,000.
"We're sending a clear message: no one is 'broken' because of their sexuality or gender identity. These views won't be tolerated in Victoria, and neither will these abhorrent practices,"Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said.
Equality minister Martin Foley said every person deserved to live their lives safely and with pride.
"Putting a stop to degrading and dehumanising change or suppression practices will allow LGBTIQ+ Victorians to do just that," Mr Foley said.
The reform follows an inquiry into conversion therapy by the Health Complaints Commissioner.
Central Victorian LGBTIQ+ advocates welcomed the proposed ban when it was announced in 2019 and called on the federal government to follow suit.
Commissioner Allen said LGBTIQ+ Victorians were to be celebrated and valued, just as they were.
- If you or someone you know needs support, central Victorian resources include Thorne Harbour Health and headspace Bendigo. QLife runs a telephone and webchat service from 3pm to midnight daily on 1800 184 527 or online at qlife.org.au/
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