“This is the kind of bill you would draft if you wanted to appear to ban conversion practices without actually banning them.”

– Rodney Croome

Equality Tasmania says a bill against conversion practices, released today by the Tasmanian Government, will allow such practices to continue.

The Government’s bill took eighteen months to draft following the release of a Tasmanian Law Reform Institute report recommending reform in May last year.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“We are concerned that the bill doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t meet the standards recommended by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute.”

“The bill will allow conversion practices to continue, both in health and religious settings, under the guise of ill-defined terms like ‘support’, ‘assistance’, ‘care’ and ‘guidance’.”

“It will also allow conversion practices if there is ‘consent’, despite the fact that it is impossible to consent to a ‘treatment’ that doesn’t work for a ‘condition’ that doesn’t exist”.

“Another problem is that in the other states most conversion practices are caught under civil law, not criminal, but in this bill there are no civil penalties so it is less likely conversion practitioners will be held to account.”

“These are the holes conversion practitioners will crawl through so they can continue to inflict their cruel and discredited ‘therapies’.”

“We are also disappointed this won’t be a stand-alone act with a preamble against conversion practices like in the other states where legislation has sent a stronger message.”

“Another big concern is that there’s no mention of the kind of education programs undertaken in other states that are necessary to ensure the legislation actually works on the ground.”

“This is the kind of bill that you would draft if you wanted to appear to ban conversion practices without actually banning them.”

The Government has launched a consultation on the bill that will close on February 16th.

Mr Croome said he will encourage Tasmanian survivors to write to the Government to highlight how the new law would may not have provided them with the protection they required when they were vulnerable to conversion practices.

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.