Ban on Conversion Therapy Passes Final Reading

Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill
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The Bill passed overwhelmingly, with only eight National MPs opposed.

New Zealand has banned conversion therapy.

The Government’s Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill passed its final reading 112 votes in favour against eight National MPs who opposed. 

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The eight MPs who voted against the Bill on the third reading were former leader Simon Bridges, Simeon Brown, Melissa Lee, Todd McClay, Simon O’Connor, Chris Penk, Michael Woodhouse and Shane Reti, with Chris Penk changing his vote to a no after voting in favour on the second reading.

The debate featured a range of impassioned speeches from those in favour of the bill’s passage.

Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall paid tribute to those who had survived conversion therapy and the LGBT community in her speech urging parliamentary colleagues to support the bill’s passage.

“I want to acknowledge the survivors of conversion therapy who submitted on the bill and their courage for doing so,” Verrall said. 

“It’s one of the things I really admire about the Rainbow community. So many of us have our own stories of stigma, hate, or rejection to share. In so many instances, we respond with dignity, love, and pride.”

Fellow Labour Minister Kiri Allen earlier tweeted about her own experience of conversion therapy.

“At 16, I went through conversion therapy (it wasn’t called that, but that’s what it was) through my church. I desperately tried to ‘pray the gay’ away – to be accepted by my family, community and church. My ‘illness’ & ‘weakness’ to temptation was etched as sin into my skin,” she wrote. 

“It took a long time to shake that shame and trauma. Tonight our Parliament will ensure this practice is banned in our country for good. For our next generation of babies, I am so incredibly relieved. Thank you to everyone that championed this change.”

The ban on conversion practices will come into effect in 6 months’ time.

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