Year behind bars for controversial therapy

 

GAY conversion therapy will be made illegal in Queensland under proposed laws, with anyone found guilty of the controversial practice to face up to 12 months behind bars.

The State Government today introduced legislation to outlaw the therapy which attempts to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to the Health Legislation Amendment Bill, there is no evidence of any benefits from conversion therapy or that the practice actually works.

Health Minister Steven Miles said gay conversion therapy has long been discredited by doctors. File picture
Health Minister Steven Miles said gay conversion therapy has long been discredited by doctors. File picture

In November last year, Health Minister Steven Miles convened the Ending Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Roundtable which concluded it should be an offence for health practitioners to perform the practice.

Mr Miles said practices that tried to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or their gender identity had always been immoral and unethical.

"I strongly oppose any suggestion that being LGBTIQ is a disorder that requires medical treatment," he said.

"This idea is not evidence-based and has long been discredited by the medical community.

"That's why we're proposing laws to prohibit conversion therapy by health practitioners."

Under the laws, anyone found guilty could cop a maximum fine of $13,345, 12 months in jail or both.

If someone who's received the therapy is a vulnerable person, such as a child, the penalty increases to a $20,000 fine, 18 months behind bars or both.

Mr Miles said the "appalling" practice had no place in modern society, let alone Queensland's health system.