Australian State of New South Wales Bans Conversion Therapy

In the Australian state of New South Wales, offering conversion therapy has been banned. Religious leaders had concerns about the law, fearing it would restrict freedom of religion.
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New South Wales, with Sydney as its capital, follows the states of Queensland and Victoria, where such bans are already in place. Conversion therapy involves attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Numerous studies have shown that this type of therapy is highly damaging and can lead to depression.

The state Minister for Health, Ryan Park, says he is "proud" to be part of a government that has made this law possible. Banning conversion therapy was one of the election promises made by the Labour Party. "These practices are incredibly harmful and have hurt too many people in NSW for too long," Park said.

LGBT+ organisations also praised the move. "This law will save countless people from a lifetime of pain and in some cases save lives," said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.

Among religious groups, there was fear that the law would jeopardise freedom of religion. According to Attorney-General Michael Daley, they need not worry. "The new law does not intend to ban the teachings of a religious leader or expression of a religious belief through sermon," he said. The law only criminalises the offering of conversion therapy."

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