Greenwich says his bill will be modelled after Victorian laws that came into effect in February 2022. The leaked paper suggests the government is thinking along similar lines.
The leaked paper confirms that the bill is proposed to cover gender identity as well as sexual orientation, as it does in other states.
The proposed ban creates both a new civil offence and a crime. It would cover practices intended to make a gay person suppress same-sex attraction, whether to encourage celibacy or to attempt to “cure” them by making them become heterosexual. It would also outlaw tactics to persuade a gender diverse or trans person that they should not transition but instead base their gender identity on their biological sex, or what LGBTQ advocates refer to as the sex presumed for a person at birth.
The Victorian laws are the strongest in Australia because they apply in all settings, covering personal relationships as well as healthcare, religious groups, schools and workplaces. The Queensland laws only apply in a healthcare setting, while the ACT laws only protect minors.
The inclusion of gender identity in the NSW consultation was always expected by LGBTQ advocates, despite Minns before the election only using the phrase “gay conversion therapy”. People close to the issue might have clocked the T for trans in the acronym when the Labor press release referred to “LGBTQ+ conversion practices”. But a government source confirmed last week that the public comments were not detailed enough to explicitly include gender identity.
Former premier Dominic Perrottet also promised to ban gay conversion therapy if re-elected. Opposition Leader Mark Speakman says he cannot pledge his support for any bill until he sees the text.