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Pressure mounts as Tasmania delays legislation to ban gay conversion therapy

Pulse Tasmania
Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff at the 2021 TasPride LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in Hobart. Image / Pulse

The state government has confirmed that legislation to ban gay conversion therapy in Tasmania will not be introduced this year.

Thursday marks the House of Assembly’s final sitting day of the year, meaning that legislation cannot be tabled until March next year.

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A spokesperson for the government said consultation on the ban is still ongoing and they want to ensure that the legislation is correct before introducing it.

“We want Tasmania to be a place where everyone feels valued and supported to be the best they can,” the spokesperson said.

“This is a complex matter and we must get the legislation right. We said the Tasmanian community would be given a chance to participate in consultation and that’s exactly what we are doing. We will provide an update on the Bill’s progress in December.”

A “deeply disappointed” Equality Tasmania has called on the government to fulfil its commitment to table the legislation before the end of the year.

“We know there are young LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians who are suffering conversion practices right now,” Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said.

“The longer the Government delays a ban on these cruel practices the more harm will be inflicted.”

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“If Tasmania continues to drag its feet on this reform we risk becoming a haven for conversion practitioners who have been thrown out of the other states.”

“We will be seeking meetings with the Premier and Attorney-General so conversion survivors can press the case for legislation to be made public before the end of the year.”

Victoria, Queensland and the ACT have already banned conversion practices, while the governments of NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have committed to doing the same.

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