ACT, National warn of conversion therapy bill ‘risk’

Radio NZ News 3 August 2021
ACT leader David Seymour is betting his party will not continue to support the government’s bill banning conversion therapy, while National is refusing to support it without changes.

The government introduced its bill on Friday, with Justice Minister Kris Faafoi saying the harmful and widely-discredited practice had no justification.

ACT this afternoon said it would support the bill at its first reading, but had “serious concerns” about it in its current form. National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges said the party supported the intent of the bill, but it would need amendment.

Heading into the debating chamber, Seymour said it was “very unlikely” the party would continue to support it – although the majority Labour government will have little trouble getting the bill passed.

“If I was taking odds at the TAB I wouldn’t want to bet on ACT voting for this further on,” Seymour said.

“We’re gonna vote for it at the first reading because we believe that people deserve to have a say at select committee.”

He said the key problem was with the definitions, a problem Faafoi himself struggled with in an interview in the hours after the announcement.

Act supports conversion therapy ban bill, National holding out over parental concerns
(The NZ Herald heading misrepresents the fact. ACT have said they will support it to Select Committee only at this stage. Many parties who may oppose a bill sometimes allow that process to happen so they can hear public submissions.)

Simon Bridges: National wants amendments made to conversion therapy bill
NewsTalk ZB 4 August 2021
The bill to ban conversion therapy is set to go to the amendment table if it wants the support of the National Party.

National say they support the intent of the Bill, but want to see an amendment to rule out prosecutions for parents.

Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges told Mike Hosking National wants parents to be able to discuss these subjects with their children.

“Good parents will be criminalised; facing up to five year’s jail for being parents to kids under 18. Parents should be allowed to be parents; they should be allowed to explore sexuality and gender with their children.”

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