The Victorian Liberal Nationals strongly oppose the barbaric practice of LGBT conversion and suppression and support its banning.
However, Daniel Andrews’ poorly-drafted bill also allows government interference in the relationships between medical professionals and patients, between parents and children, and between faith leaders and their congregations.
This is why, while supporting the ban on LGBT conversion therapy, the Victorian Liberal Nationals will be moving a series of amendments to protect the rights of medical patients, families and faith communities.
The Bill as drafted has drawn serious concern from a wide range of respected stakeholders and the broader community.
The Australian Medical Association (Victoria) has said that the Bill as currently drafted “has the potential to compromise the legitimate practice of medicine”, “unfairly targets psychiatry and psychotherapy specifically” and “has the potential to be detrimental to clinical practice”.
As it currently stands, the Bill would mean medical professionals would be unable to provide full and frank professional opinions to their patients and could risk up to 10 years’ imprisonment for doing so.
Similarly, conversations between parents and their children would potentially be gagged or criminalised in some circumstances.
The Liberal Nationals will move a reasoned amendment that further consultation occurs around these legitimate concerns before the Bill proceeds.
The Liberal Nationals will also move specific amendments to implement some of the recommended changes sought by Associate Professor Julian Rait OAM, the AMA Victorian President and separate amendments to reign-in the unjustified additional powers proposed for the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:
“The Liberal Nationals strongly believe that coercive LGBT conversion practices are barbaric and have no place in Victoria.
“Daniel Andrews needs to listen to the many Victorians who support banning gay conversion therapies but have legitimate concerns about the drafting of this Bill.
“There is no dispute about banning LGBT conversion therapy, so why won’t Daniel Andrews listen to medical professionals and parents who are concerned by this Bill’s overreach?
“This Bill should pass with amendments that protect patients, families and people of faith.”