UPDATED 3/9/21 FOR CROWN LAW ADVICE
three FOUR important legal opinions you should read about the proposed ban on conversion therapy. Note – these are NOT written by Bob McCoskrie or anyone connected to Family First.
They are written by a leading New Zealand QC, a leading Australian family law expert, the government’s own Ministry of Justice, and Crown Law!
1. The opinion by Grant Illingworth QC warns that parental guidance and counselling could potentially be caught if expressed in words or conduct, that conversion “practice” could readily include teaching, counselling and praying for someone, and that there is a risk of serious disruption within religious communities including Muslim and Christian faiths which will be significant and substantial, will have a ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression concerning gender issues, and will fail in its stated purpose of promoting respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality and gender.
2. The legal analysis by Patrick Parkinson AM warns that parents who act upon expert medical advice in helping their children with gender identity issues risk prosecution and jail sentences under the law as currently drafted. This is likely to lead to huge distress for parents who are already experiencing very difficult circumstances. It could lead to very grave harms. He concludes that this is no time for the NZ Parliament to pass legislation that will be understood as seeking to scare therapists away from providing therapy to very troubled adolescents who identify as ‘trans’ or ‘gender diverse’.
3. The Ministry of Justice advice to the Government in its Regulatory Impact Statement admits:
* Prayer and counselling will be caught under the law. The ban would be useless if they didn’t include prayer (they explicitly state this!)
* Family discussions, parenting advice & values will be caught under the law.
* The evidence of conversion therapy happening is very reliant on media reports only. There is no credible data that it’s happening (admitted a number of times!)
* There is no acknowledgement that for some people, their sexuality and their gender dysphoria (which is still a mental disorder according to DSM-V) does need healing
* They reject any evidence of people who have experienced positive change from counselling in these areas, such as Leah and James and all these people
* Those who personally and willingly seek counselling are “not likely to be fully informed” So much for “my body my choice” then.
* They’re wary of the blowback because this bill is being considered at the same time as ‘hate speech’ legislation.
Why is that? Because both pieces of legislation are forms of ‘hate speech’ and are attacking freedom of belief and religious freedom, and both pieces are targeted primarily at the Christian community because of the biblical teachings on sexuality. However, other faith communities are concerned. As are many in the LGBT movement who do not believe that children should be locked into transgenderism and that they should be able to receive counselling for gender dysphoria (given that the overwhelming majority of adolescents grow out of their dysphoria as they travel through puberty.)
4. Crown Law advice to the Attorney-General states
* “There is no doubt that as expressed the prohibition will extend to activities and communications that occur within families and within religious groupings.”
* “the broad definition of those practices creates the risk that it could extend further, to the exchange of thoughts or opinions about sexuality and gender that occur within the family/whānau or religious groups that do warrant protection and where the limitation could not easily be justified.”
* “The Bill of Rights Act protects both the right to have religious or conscientious beliefs (s 13) and the manifestation of those beliefs (s 15)… It is possible that the conversion practice itself is properly to be seen as a manifestation of the religious belief just described.”
* “there is a potential chilling effect on legitimate expressions of opinion within families/whānau about sexuality and gender”
Despite these significant concerns, Crown Law then tries to argue that the “significant limitation on freedom of speech” and “lesser limitation on manifestation of religion” are somehow justified because the bill only targets “change or suppress” and not “confront or reject“, that the bill wants to promote “respectful and open discussions“, and the Attorney-General has to ok any prosecution. Feel reassured now? You shouldn’t.
Remember – this is the same Attorney-General that appealed the Family First case to the Supreme Court in their efforts to deregister us!
Supporters of this proposed ban are working hard to undersell the true effects of the bill.
Listen to the legal experts.