Govt urged to move on banning conversion therapy; Collins labelled ‘ignorant’ for taking no position

NewsTalk ZB 3 February 2021
The LGBT+ community will have to wait for legislation to ban conversion therapy to be introduced, with the Government confirming it isn’t coming just yet.

Meanwhile, the National Party leader has been labelled ignorant after offering no view on whether the practice should be banned.

Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity using therapy, drugs, or other methods.

In October last year, Labour promised they would ban conversion therapy as a key part of the rainbow policy announcement before the election.

Five months later, the Government has yet to make a move on it – and won’t give any specifics on when a ban will be introduced.

No legislation on the matter is expected to be introduced next week when Parliament returns for the year.

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Kris Faafoi maintains there’s work happening on the issue. They said there are complicated details and consultations to be thrashed out, with announcements to be made in due course.

The Green Party has also promised to ban the practice. The Greens Rainbow Communities spokesperson Elizabeth Kerekere said conversion therapy is a crime and it needs to start being treated like one.

Kerekere said she would like to see the Government continue to prioritise banning the practice, like they promised to do during their election campaign.

Asked about the matter yesterday, National Party leader Judith Collins said National doesn’t have a position on conversion therapy.

But she admitted she hasn’t done the research on the subject she committed to on the campaign trail last year.

When asked about the practice, Collins was indifferent.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to do conversion therapy,” she said.

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