Liberal MPs have spoken out against a push from a Victorian branch to encourage “conversion therapy” and remove discrimination protections for LGBTIQ people.

The Age reports that federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman and some unnamed state MPs have hit out against the motions, set to be debated at the Victorian Liberal Party’s state council motions and proposed by a Young Liberal branch linked to federal MP Kevin Andrews. Conversion therapy has long been dismissed by health professionals as pointless and disastrous for its mental health impact: as Zimmerman says, “the real debate is whether so-called gay conversion therapy should be regarded as a form of child abuse.”