Leader of the Australian Labor Party Bill Shorten. | Photo: Takver / Flickr
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) vowed to ban gay conversion therapy if they win the next federal election.
As it currently stands, the only state of Australia with a ban on gay conversion therapy is Victoria.
Shadow Health Minister Catherine King told The Age: ‘Gay conversion therapy is discredited and dangerous.’
She added: ‘As the federal shadow health minister, I urge all jurisdictions to follow Victoria’s lead and ban gay conversion therapy.
‘If this issue isn’t resolved before the next election, and I’m lucky enough to serve as health minister afterwards, it’ll be a personal priority for me,’ she said.
The next federal Australian election could be as early as August this year.
But what about free speech?
The move to ban gay conversion therapies country-wide comes after the Victorian Liberal Party’s state council considered proposing a motion to let doctors ‘offer counselling out of same-sex attraction or gender transitioning.‘
Then most federal Liberal party members openly condemned the motion.
But in an interview with the current health minister Greg Hunt, he said everyone has a right to free speech. He personally disagrees with the practice but refused to condemn his colleagues who supported it.
He argued for free speech in a bizarre interview last (17 April) week with ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas. Hunt asked: ‘As a journalist, I would hope that you believe in freedom of speech.
Hunt also added he was concerned that ‘nobody, anywhere, is allowed to have a different view.’
Karvelas responded: ‘I obviously believe in freedom of speech. I also believe that gay conversion therapy has had devastating results for people. So do you and so does science – that was the question.’
The health minister again said he disagreed with the practice, but supports freedom of speech.