Petition calls on Parliament to ban gay conversion therapy

Long Lunch 19/07/2018
Photo: Getty.

The youth sections of the Labour and Green Parties are calling for the ban of gay conversion therapy.

Gay conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy”, is the practice where a ‘specialist’ attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The controversial practice is very much still legal and practiced in New Zealand. It’s been outlawed in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and illegal in several US and Canadian states/territories.

But Young Labour and Young Greens want to change that, and have launched a petition urging Parliament to outlaw the “harmful” and “dangerous” practice.

Young Greens co-convenor Max Tweedie told RadioLIVE that the practice simply doesn’t work.

Paul Stevens told The Project about his unsuccessful therapy

“What we want to do is show [Parliament] that there is lot of widespread support for banning it,” he said.

The petition cites that gay conversion therapy can cause anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases – suicide.

“It does not work, and is harmful to those who are subjected to it,” the petition reads.

Queer rights advocates have also called on the Government to ban the practice after Prime Minister Theresa May said her government would ban the practice in the United Kingdom. 

Following the UK ban, an online petition was launched by the Rodney Area LGBTQ+ group calling on the Government to ban the practice. It has over 3,500 signatures.

According to the Human Rights Commission, any member of the LGBTQI+ community has the right to not be subject to any forms of therapy that are carried out in an attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Human Rights Commission told RNZ in a statement it would support the Government to consider banning the practice.

Listen to the full interview with Max Tweedie above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.