PM admits parents may face charges under conversion therapy’ bill

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn’t rule out parents facing charges under conversion therapy ban
NewsHub 9 August 2021
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn’t ruling out parents facing prosecution for preventing their children from taking hormone blockers under a law banning conversion practices. 

The potential for parents to face charges under the law is the reason National voted against the legislation at first reading, but Labour’s huge majority in Parliament means it doesn’t need support from other parties anyway.

Under the law, performing conversion practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression could result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

The legislation impact statement reads: “It would be a criminal offence for parents or other members of a family to attempt to change or suppress the sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of children within the family.”

National stood alone last week as the only party not to support the law, after Justice Minister Kris Faafoi was repeatedly unable to confirm if the conversion therapy ban applied to parents telling their kids not to take hormone blockers. 

Ardern, when asked by reporters on Monday to set the record straight, was also unable to give a concrete answer. 

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