You may recall that in 2022 Alex Greenwich said he would create an Equality Bill that would deal with discrimination of the LGBTQ people in New South Wales and also legislation that would follow in the footsteps of other Australian states that had banned conversion “therapy”. Submissions were called for to ensure that all areas of the community were covered. It was also important that the legislation banning conversion “therapy” was survivor informed. (ABBI’s submission is HERE).

Before the election, both Liberal and Labor leaders promised to support the ban.

Following up on the election promise, in the second half of 2023, the Minns Labor government  set up their own consultation on conversion “therapy” and invited stakeholders from across the spectrum to lodge submissions. Roundtables with concerned parties were also held. I rallied some 40 survivors to lodge submissions and also attend roundtables. As I mentioned in my previous “behind the scenes” article, sometimes the survivor stories reduced policy makers, politicians, and bureaucrats to tears.

We were waiting to hear the outcome of the consultation when……….

The Australian Christian Lobby claimed victory.

In a newsletter at the end of September, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) was claiming a victory.

It read: “NSW’s dangerous conversion therapy laws have been put on pause, no doubt influenced by our phone campaign. ACL staff and volunteers made 8,000+ calls explaining their concerns and asking MPs to consider the negative consequences for our children.”

It was a scary moment.

Our DREAM TEAM swung into action. Letters were sent to the Attorney General, Michael Daley, the Minister for Health, Ryan Park and the Premier, Chris Minns reminding them of the importance of the legislation and that for some it will be lifesaving. We also highlighted the profound repercussions of any delays or reneging on promises, drawing attention to the distressing aftermath witnessed in the UK after 5 years of broken promises by political leaders. Such actions can inflict further trauma upon survivors who have bravely shared their stories.

A Pentecostal minister wrote this:

“I am delighted that The NSW Government is committed to banning LGBTQ+ conversion practices in NSW. I realise you have received some pushback on this from churches and Christian organisations, so I am writing to provide an alternative perspective. It baffles me that many people in the Christian church oppose banning a practice that only causes harm.

I am a Christian pastor who leads a vibrant church in Melbourne. My wife and I planted Bayside Church in 1992 and continue to lead it today. A small but very precious group of LGBTIQ+ people are members of our church.

I encourage you to resist the pressure of church leaders and Christian organisations and to progress with your plan to ban LGBTQ+ conversion practices in NSW.”

Read the full letter to the NSW Premier HERE.