New Zealand’s Labour Party has sworn to outlaw conversion therapy practices by February 2022.
New Zealand’s Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the government’s pledge to ban conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy is an inhumane act that traumatises its subject in a degrading effort to forcefully change a person’s sexual orientation.
The country’s leading Labour government made a public vow last year to do better and support the LGBTQ+ community.
In a statement, Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi emphasised the government’s plan to prioritise banning conversion therapy: “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and with the aim of having a ban passed into law by the end of this year, or by February 2022 – at the latest.”
Faafoi said the New Zealand government has shown “a level of priority” in pushing ahead with legislation that will “ban these cruel and damaging practices”.
Faafoi also addressed Labour Party’s previous commitment ahead of last year’s election to pass legislation to protect the LGBTQ+ community: “We know this is an important issue, which is why we made the Manifesto commitment before last year’s Election,” the Minister of Justice.
“We want to ensure the legislation passes as quickly as possible so the Rainbow community and all those affected by these abhorrent practices are protected.”
The Minister said: “There is no therapeutic purpose or medical basis for these conversion practices, which can cause real and lasting damage, particularly for vulnerable young people who are often the victims of these practices.”
New Zealand’s Green Party have been campaigning for action towards conversion therapy to be considered sooner.
In a recent post, the political party celebrated Labour’s announcement to bring the banning of conversion therapy forward, calling it a “huge win for people power”.
Alongside the post, the Green Party added a follow-up to highlight their stance on conversion therapy bans.
The party clarified their position on the ban: “That means NO religious exemptions. That means it is banned whether you’re trans, intersex, non-binary, gay, lesbian or bisexual.”
BREAKING: Labour have just announced that they will bring forward the timeline to ban conversion therapy. This is huge win for people power!
For the Green Party, the focus will now be on ensuring that the ban is robust and protects all of us. pic.twitter.com/6ykv11QYKE
— Green Party NZ (@NZGreens) February 21, 2021
Earlier this month, New Zealand’s National Party backed the call to ban conversion therapy.
Judith Collins, leader of the party, was swayed after researching conversion therapy online.
The politician declared that her party are “all opposed to gay conversion therapy, so we will be looking forward to the bill being presented to us” and that supporting the ban is the “right thing to do”.
In a government statement, Faafoi embraced the support of his fellow political parties: “We welcome that both the Green Party and National Party appear to share the Government’s position against conversion practices and we hope they’ll work constructively with us to ensure good, fair and robust legislation is put in place.”
You can read about New Zealand’s plan to ban conversion therapy practices here.