The report on LGBT conversion in Australia includes anonymous interviews with 15 people who went through conversion therapy. One was going through therapy up until 2016.
“We need stronger laws signalling it’s harmful, inappropriate and unethical,” La Trobe University’s Dr Timothy Jones said.
The report was released only days after part of the Ruddock review into religious freedoms was leaked to the media. It recommended new laws to codify the existing right of schools to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation as well as gender identity.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to rule out the proposal, and a member of his party, Liberal MP Alex Hawke, expressed support.
In response, some church leaders and headmasters of private Christian schools have taken a stand against the proposal, saying it is harmful to children.
Dr Jones said he was anxious about releasing the conversion therapy report, which has already been delayed by the same-sex marriage plebiscite, at this time.
“The media is pitting churches against gay people,” he said.
“The point of the report is not to attack the churches but to make religious communities aware that some communities are doing practices causing long-lasting harm.
“We want to help them stop doing that.”
“Religious communities want to care for their members … and I think they’re not aware enough of how wrong these kinds of practices are.”
– James Purtill
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