Bill to shift Mardi Gras home from 'laggard to leader'

Jane Dempster/AAP PHOTOS

The beating heart of Australia's LGBTQI community remains a laggard when it comes to queer rights, according to an MP intent on righting that wrong.

Alex Greenwich, whose Sydney electorate hosts the annual Mardi Gras parade, on Thursday introduced legislation to state parliament to ban gay conversion therapy and so-called "exorcisms" in NSW while overhauling other laws.

The proposed reforms include permitting gender transitioning without surgery, protections for intersex children from unnecessary medical intervention and making it a domestic violence offence to "out" or threaten to out an LGBTQI partner.

Seeking to allay fears from conservative religious communities, Mr Greenwich said the proposed laws would not ban religious teachings, preachings or private prayer that related to people's sexuality.

Restrictions on open and difficult conversations between parents and children about gender identity would not be captured under the laws either.

As the LGBTQI community wanted, most breaches would focus on education and civil remedies, rather than penalties.

"There is a very high standard to reach for criminal offences - intent, injury and neglect," Mr Greenwich said.

The bill would move NSW from "laggard to leader" on LGBTQI rights by amending more than 20 acts as well as introducing a prohibition on conversion practices, he said.

"We are not broken, we are loved and the law should reflect that," Mr Greenwich said.

Former evangelist Anthony Venn-Brown, a survivor of Australia's first gay conversion program, said the bill was thorough, fair and would make a difference.

"One of the most important things I know from all those years working with survivors is that it will save lives," he said.

More than 900 families already being supported by the NSW Gender Centre would be able to access proper health care and document changes they need in their everyday lives, spokeswoman Eloise Brooke said.

But enacting the changes will require major party support.

While the suite of changes were developed after consultation with community groups and Labor governments in Queensland, Victoria and ACT, the Minns government is expected to pick apart the independent MP's legislation.

Some provisions such as gay conversion therapy bans will be added to Labor's own anti-discrimination bill, while others will be put to external and internal review processes.

Health Minister Ryan Park said 130 stakeholders were being consulted to ensure the government had legislation ready for the parliament.

"However, we will engage with Alex with his piece of legislation," he said.

Mr Greenwich urged Labor to ensure its process did not seek to appease those enacting harmful practices.

"There is no other form of abuse where it would be acceptable to consult with the perpetrators of abuse," he told reporters.

"This (suite of changes) doesn't ultimately need to be done by me.

"The focus is on an outcome to make NSW a safe place for LGBTQ people because we know ... NSW is not as safe as it should be."