Amnesty International Australia welcomes the strong condemnation from both Western Australian Health Minister and Queensland Health Minister of so-called ‘conversion therapy’.
In a letter responding to Amnesty activists Hannah Wahlsten and Jasmine Ruscoe, WA Health Minister Roger Cook said that he is “strongly opposed to and [does] not support the use of sexual [re]orientation efforts of any kind”.
A representative of QLD Health Minister Steven Miles responded to Amnesty activist Nina Ashfield saying that:
“The Minister shares your concerns regarding gay conversion therapy and strongly opposes any suggestion that homosexuality is a disorder which requires treatment. Minister Miles has recently signed an online change.org petition calling for gay conversion therapy to be outlawed in Australia.”
Both Ministers said they will review current legislation in their respective states to determine whether reform is needed. Amnesty International Australia calls for the express prohibition of LGBT+ conversion therapy, as the Victorian Government did through the passage of the Health Complaints Act 2016.
Depending on techniques used, LGBT+ conversion therapy has been found by the United Nations to be unethical, unscientific, ineffective and, in some instances, tantamount to torture. The Australian Psychological Association and the Australian Medical Association have condemned conversion therapy as harmful and ineffective.
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