The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) welcomes the Victorian Government’s decision to prohibit the practice of conversion therapy and calls on the remaining states and territories to enact similar bans.

“It astounds me that in a country as progressive as Australia, such harmful methods that claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are still being practiced,” said Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.

“The Health Complaints Commissioner’s inquiry report released in 2018 found depression, overwhelming feelings of guilt and ongoing anxiety were experienced by survivors of such ‘treatments’. Additionally, research from the National LGBTI Health Alliance shows that people who identify as LGBTQI have the highest rates of suicide and experience poorer health outcomes than the wider population. This demonstrates the direct relationship between equality and health.

“We commend Victoria for initiating such progressive regulations however both children and adults should not be disadvantaged due to their location. Consistency in conversion therapy laws across the country should be enforced.

“ACN welcomes the opportunity to openly discuss and support Australians who identify as LGBTQI, with respect to their own faith and religion.

“ACN strongly supports equality for all. It is a fundamental human right and we condemn any kind of discrimination, be it on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

“We respect the right of each of our Members to have and express their own personal views on this issue. Nurses are bound by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia which recognises universal human rights and the moral responsibility to safeguard the inherent dignity and equal worth of everyone.”

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