The NSW Labor Government has abandoned its promise to introduce new laws this year to outlaw gay conversion practices after church groups and LGBTQ advocates pleaded for more time to ensure the “sensitive” legislation strikes the right balance. Source: SMH.
Premier Chris Minns had guaranteed that new laws would be introduced to parliament this year after making an election promise that he would ban the harmful practices.
However, faith groups – including the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher – and independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich this week lobbied Mr Minns not to rush the laws and risk “unintended consequences”.
Mr Greenwich, who has his own bill to ban gay conversion before the parliament, wrote to Premier Minns earlier this week asking that the government’s bill be delayed to allow more consultation with “survivors of this harmful practice”.
Archbishop Fisher also wrote to the Premier, asking that the government “refrain from tabling the bill” because it contains a “number of problematic proposals put forward in the initial consultation and is inconsistent with commitments made prior to the election”.
Archbishop Fisher’s letter said that rushing the legislation would likely result in uncertainty and unintended consequences, especially for children experiencing gender dysphoria and their parents and carers.
Murray Norman, the chief executive officer of Faith NSW, said the faith communities had also been concerned about “ensuring protections are given to people of faith, families and parents”.
Mr Minns said he intended to keep the government’s commitment to ban LGBTQ conversion practices, and that the government would continue to engage and consult with a view to bringing a bill early next year.
NSW Labor delays gay conversion laws after pleas from churches, LGBTQ groups (By Alexandra Smith, SMH)