Last night, the politicians debated amendments to the flawed and dangerous ‘conversion therapy’ ban – which legal opinions written by a leading New Zealand QC, a leading Australian family law expert, the government’s own Ministry of Justice, and Crown Law have all raised significant concerns about regarding the legal effect of the bill.
Six important amendments were proposed:
* Definition of conversion therapy doesn’t include any conversations between a child and their parent or legal guardian
* Remove “prayer based practice” as an example of a conversion practice
* The expression of any opinion is not a conversion practice
* Example of act which is not a conversion practice – A parent, or caregiver, withholding consent for medical intervention in relation to gender transition, for what they consider to be the child’s best interests (e.g. puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones).
* example of act which is not a conversion practice – A health practitioner frankly outlining the risks, consequences and merits of medical intervention in relation to gender transition. This amendment would ensure that there is no doubt that a medical professional can deliver frank and honest advice to a prospective patient without the delivery of such advice being considered a conversion practice.
* review of law in 3 years and every 5 years after that
ALL PROPOSED AMENDMENTS WERE DEFEATED!
The voting record is shown below (or click here). Note that Labour, Greens, ACT and Maori party voted as a party. Only National allowed a conscience vote.
It is disturbing to note:
* not a single ‘conservative-leaning’ Labour MP has spoken up on the threat of this bill to families, to freewill, & to faith based-communities. Not one.
* National leader Christopher Luxon didn’t even show up to vote
* a significant number of National MPs still want to criminalise prayer
* National MPs Chris Bishop and Nicola Willis rejected all amendments (perhaps they should stand for Labour at the next election)
* the ACT party supported most of the amendments. It will be interesting to see whether they now vote against the bill at 3rd Reading
It is disappointing that the very good amendment proposed by the NZ Christian Network (and endorsed by many of you in your written and oral submissions) was completely ignored:
[In this Act, conversion practice does not include— ]
(g) respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality and gender, and advice, guidance, prayer, or support given to anyone by anyone else including parents, family members, friends, counsellors, religious leaders, or health professionals, when such advice or support is requested, and is respectful and non-coercive.
The fact that the Select Committee, and then the politicians in the Committee stage last night, didn’t even want to mention let alone debate this amendment reveals the true intent of this proposed bill and what the activists really want to criminalise.
We are also aware that the seven MPs who voted against this bill at 2nd Reading (reflecting the views and concerns of thousands of kiwi parents and families) have been targeted with vile social media attacks and threats by some LGBT activists supporting the bill. See below …
This is completely unacceptable – and makes a mockery of their demand for tolerance and diversity.
Please take a moment to send a message of encouragement to these MPs, either via email or via social media. They deserve to know that we are standing with them.
Let me warn you again.
Activists want to use this ban to attack the theology of Bible-believing churches, and any families & parents who hold those values. Don’t be fooled. It’s quite obvious what the aim is.
The irony is that if the bill is passed, conversion therapy will still be legal in New Zealand – but only if you convert people in the direction that LGBT activists want.
if you would like to contact your local MP or a group of MPs, use our handy website tool to contact them www.HaveYourSay.nz
It is likely that this bill will become law early next week.
Perhaps all we can do is pray. It’s still legal… at the moment.