“Anti-women, anti-children”: new Australian proposals raise concerns

25, August 2023

Australia has some of the most extreme conversion therapy legislation in the world.

Now another anti-conversion law is put forward in the state of New South Wales, alongside a raft of other dangerous proposals.

As we have explained previously, the state of Victoria’s is the worst, making illegal even “not affirming someone’s gender identity” and barring parents from refusing consent for their children accessing experimental puberty-blocking drugs. Religious freedom is severely impacted by that law too.

New South Wales – which contains Sydney – has yet to introduce a ban, but there is increasing pressure to do so. Government departments are currently looking at options for a new law there.

But ahead of any firm announcements, independent MP and LGBT activist Alex Greenwich has launched his own initiative, in the hope of influencing Government policy.

His so-called ‘Equality Bill’ sets out a large number of reforms which he feels progress LGBT ‘rights’. While unlikely to get the backing necessary to become law, many will be deeply concerned about the concepts pushed by this ludicrous document which has widespread backing from LGBT campaign groups:


If it was adopted, the Bill would see New South Wales join the few countries in the world which accept gender self-ID. This policy removes vital medical safeguards when allowing someone to declare they have changed sex. So a man can declare himself a woman on official documents, without having made any changes to his physical body. It opens the door to all sorts of people taking advantage and accessing women’s only spaces. But many other concerns are connected too.


The Bill also seeks to fully decriminalise prostitution, in a state where the practice is already far too liberal. It is staggering to read the few remaining protections Mr Greenwich intends to remove, including the offence of coercive conduct or undue influence to cause or induce someone to commit an act of prostitution. He says removing it will ‘reduce the risks’ for those who “recruit” prostitutes.

Seeking surrogate mothers abroad

And the Bill seeks to remove restrictions on commercial surrogacy outside the state (though leaving it illegal within the state). This would produce a legal but disturbingly unethical route for gay men and others to buy the services of surrogate mothers abroad. More poverty-stricken women in third-world countries would be paid to bear babies for wealthy Australians.

Conversion therapy

Legislating against so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is devoted its own separate Bill, which was published alongside the Equality Bill.

Women’s rights campaigners have noted that most of the proposed new policies are detrimental to women. And, though the conversion therapy ban is claimed to protect people from abuse, concerns have been raised across the board that it would do precisely the opposite.

The CEO of Women’s Forum Australia, Rachael Wong explains that the conversion therapy ban will criminalise “parents and others who are trying to help vulnerable, gender-dysphoric children”.

Christians are deeply concerned too, with the Bill being modelled on the legislation in Victoria, and being proposed in a religiously charged way. In his official statement on the launch of the Bill, Greenwich decries as “emotionally destructive” any person being told they are “sinful”.

He says it would make illegal “praying … at or on someone” and “assertive efforts” in pastoral care. With such vague language it is clear that ordinary Christians would be subject to suspicion merely for seeking to pray for or encourage someone to live faithfully in accordance with the Bible.

Latest news