The Green Party are celebrating the Labour Government bringing forward the timeline to ban conversion therapy, and will push to ensure any draft bill properly protects all of our Rainbow communities.
“Today it is clear that people power works. Our 150,000 strong petition impressed the urgency felt by New Zealanders that conversion therapy must be banned in Aotearoa as soon as possible”, Green Party Rainbow spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere said today.
“Waiting until the end of the year to introduce legislation was never acceptable. In the time it takes to pass law, that timeline would have meant the practice was legal right up until late 2022. This would have been two more years of torture for our Rainbow community that was entirely avoidable.
“Getting law underway in a few months and passed by the start of next year is a reasonable timeline. This ensures that survivors can share their stories and feed into the law-making process. It helps to minimise ongoing harm and sends a clear message to those who promote such practices.
“For the Green Party, and the affected communities, the focus will now be to ensure the Bill is robust and protects all of us.
“That means no religious exemptions, because we know the vast majority of these practices happen in churches and other religious settings.
“It also means no member of our Rainbow community can be left behind. We’ll be pushing to ensure the full Rainbow community is included. It must be illegal to practice conversion therapy on anyone who is trans, intersex or non-binary as well as gay, lesbian or bisexual. We must end conversion therapy for all Rainbow communities.
“We also acknowledge that conversion therapy happens to other communities, in particular to people with disabilities. We will work with the disability sector to ensure their voices are also heard on this matter.
“I have made it clear to Labour that I am available to help make this the best law possible. I look forward to working with them on this issue.”