In Australia, the Victoria government intends to introduce specific powers to root out unregistered practitioners making unproven claims about conversion therapy, that is, those who claim they can cure homosexuality.
The legislation will empower a Health Complaints Commissioner, who will have the power to ban such therapists, who are responsible for putting people’s physical and psychological health at risk.
Jill Hennessy, Victoria Health Minister stated:
“We have zero tolerance for any person purporting to be able to ‘covert’ gay people through medical or therapeutic means. Any attempts to make people feel uncomfortable with their own sexuality is completely unacceptable”.
Many who have been involved in gay conversion therapy have gone underground, and the therapy has re-emerged elsewhere as ex-gay therapy, where the premise is that gay people have experienced some trauma in their lives which has led to same-sex attraction, which they claim could be cured and the person would then become heterosexual.
The move has come from the Victoria government amid claims that shock tactics and aversion therapy are being used against gay people by dubious therapists who are making false claims of cures for homosexuality.
Greens Senator Robert Simms will put a motion before the Turnbull government when federal parliament resumes, asking that the states and territories bring in legislation to ban gay conversion therapy and its offshoots completely.