What's wrong with banning 'conversion therapy'?


The Victorian Government's policy to ban “conversion practices” is based on two commonly held but completely unscientific and patently false assumptions:

1. That LGBTQ+ individuals are “born this way.”

2. That no LGBTQ+ individual ever changes and becomes heterosexual and/or cisgender.


A recent study of genetic determinants of sexual orientation among half a million Britons and Americans has come to the conclusion that 'genes play an identifiable role in same-sex sexuality for no more than about one third of the people studied' and that 'even for this subset, the identified causal relationship was very small. Altogether, the study reported, the genetic correlations they identified are so weak that they “do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual’s sexual preference.” Instead, according to the researchers themselves, “non-genetic factors — such as environment, upbringing, personality, nurture — are far more significant in influencing a person’s choice of sexual partner, just as with most other personality, behavioral and physical human traits.”' It is simply false to claim that LGBTQ+ individuals are “born that way.”


To claim that no LGBTQ+ identifying person ever becomes heterosexual or embraces their natal biological sex is also patently false. A landmark paper published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour in 2003 by Robert Spitzer, a towering figure of American psychiatry, controversially provided evidence a large percentage participants in the sexual orientation change programs investigated reported significant lasting change of sexual orientation. Under pressure from LGBTQ+ advocates Spitzer himself has called these findings into question, yet they are borne out by recent Australian survey results and the online testimonies of scores of ex-LGBTQ+ identifying individuals accessible online. Evidently a percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals do change and become heterosexual and/or cisgender.


So what is driving the Victorian push to outlaw “conversion practices”?


Victoria's Labor Government has listened to the voice of the powerful – the LGBTQ+ lobby, but ignored the voice of the weak – same-sex attracted and gender dysphoric persons who reject LGBTQ+ ideology and are vulnerable to personal attacks from radical LGBTQ+ activists.

Thus the LGBTQ+ allied study that underpins Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban policy does not even attempt to present a balanced picture of the impacts of sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, but describes only the experiences of those who have been harmed whilst seeking change. Australians who have benefited from sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts have been deliberately excluded from the conversation.


Plainly, you could not get a balanced picture of the impact of the Victorian hospital system by only interviewing people who have experienced botched surgeries, and you cannot get a fair picture of the impact of “conversion practises” upon same-sex attracted or dysphoric individuals by only interviewing those who have been hurt by such practices.

And bizarrely, Labor pays careful attention to the experiences of a small number – just fifteen hurt individuals, but ignores the experiences of many – seventy helped individuals.


Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban is also clearly fundamentally discriminatory. It inexplicably allows movement from straight to gay, but prohibits movement from gay to straight. It allows movement from cisgender to transgender, but prohibits movement from transgender to cisgender. It is an oppressive MUST STAY GAY/MUST STAY TRANS law.

Far from acting in a fair and evenhanded manner and developing legislation that benefits all Victorians, the Victorian Labor Party has been taken captive by radical LGBTQ+ activists and is imposing the LGBTQ+ agenda without compromise.


Accordingly, Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban renders the safest and best approach to caring for gender dysphoric children (compassionate supportive care and counselling) illegal, while making dangerous and experimental transgender approaches (routinely involving chemical castration and surgical mutilation) mandatory. Such truly horrific “conversion practices” that our State legislators will no doubt one day criminalise, are not only sanctioned but made compulsory by the current proposal!


Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban forces parents, carers, teachers, medical practitioners and other professionals with a duty of care to support and facilitate the irreversible and irrevocable harm associated with attempting to “transition” a child to the opposite sex.

It prevents adolescents and adults with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria from accessing the professional services and personal and/or religious supports that they need and seek.


It imposes unprecedented and unjustified censorship on counsellors, psychologists and medical practitioners in their work with persons experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, making it impossible for these professionals to both keep the law and fulfil their professional ethical obligations to respect client/patient autonomy and practice according to the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban even makes it a criminal offence to offer care and support to persons experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban even makes it a criminal offence to offer care and support to persons experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

It likewise criminalises normal religious practices of praying, reading sacred texts, teaching and instructing in as much they foster understandings of human sexuality and practices contrary to radical LGBTQ+ ideologies.


Labor's Conversion Therapy Ban violates the rights of Victorians to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.


It represents another unconscionable act of overreach by the Andrews Government, and a retrograde step from free democratic society towards tyrannical authoritarian rule. Most shockingly it threatens most harm to the extremely vulnerable individuals that the ban purports to protect.