Why the Government is unlikely to ban LGBT ‘conversion therapy’ anytime soon

Stuff co.nz 20 October 2019
The Government has been advised to delay making a decision on whether to outlaw gay and trans “conversion therapy” due to concerns about freedom of expression.

Conversion therapy is where people try to change lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people’s sexuality or gender identity using therapy, drugs or other means.

The controversial practice has been banned in the Australian state of Victoria, several countries in South America and parts of the United States.

About 20,000 people have signed petitions calling for the practice to be outlawed in New Zealand.

But while the Justice Select Committee, a group of MPs tasked with considering the petitions, acknowledged conversion therapy could be harmful to rainbow communities, it did not recommend an immediate ban.

“We believe more work needs to be done before any decision is taken to ban it,” it said in its report.

“In particular, thought must be given to how to define conversion therapy, who the ban would apply to, and how to ensure that rights relating to freedom of expression and religion were maintained.”

The committee said it was important that people with questions about their sexuality or gender identity were able to seek advice from people such as a professional counsellor, family and friends, or members of their religious community.

“A ban on conversion therapy should not prevent anyone from seeking or providing such advice.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/116717531/why-the-government-is-unlikely-to-ban-lgbt-conversion-therapy-anytime-soon

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