December 10, 2020 |
Victoria needs to support and celebrate those in the community who identify as LGBTIQ+, and pass legislation that bans harmful conversion practices, Federation of Community Legal Centres CEO Ms Serina McDuff has urged.
Ms McDuff’s comments came as the State Parliament debates a new Bill that seeks to ban LGBTIQ+ conversion practices.
Ms McDuff said people who identified as LGBTIQ+ should be accepted and valued for who they are.
“The Government should be commended for their commitment to outlawing this damaging practice,” she said.
The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill, being debated today, effectively bans practices that aim to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Bill will prohibit a range of damaging practices, providing both criminal penalties and a civil response scheme. The legislation will criminalise those practices that result in injury or serious injury and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will have new powers to investigate where there is evidence of serious suppression practices.
“This law is long overdue,” Ms McDuff said.
“The practice of using conversion practices to change a person’s identity has caused significant harm and trauma to many people in the past. It needs to stop.”
“LGBTIQ+ Victorians should feel safe in their community; like all Victorians they should be accepted and celebrated for who they are.
“This Bill makes clear that change or suppression practices are not tolerated or supported by the Victorian community in any form. It is legislative changes like this one that will help us create a community that is more fair and inclusive.”