It’s your last chance to help ban conversion therapy in NZ

trending 08/09/2021

Conversion therapy is still legal in Aotearoa, and now is your chance to help put a stop to it.

So, what actually is conversion therapy?

Conversion therapy is a method used to change or supress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Lots of research has found conversion therapy to be harmful, and can contribute to mental health issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. 

As reported by The Guardian,

A study by the Family Acceptance Project, a US-based initiative that helps families support their LGBTQ children, found that rates of attempted suicide were more than twice as high among LGBT youth who had been subjected to conversion practices. 

Medical bodies in Aotearoa and worldwide have declared conversion practices ineffective, unethical and harmful.” 

The Labour Party campaigned on banning Conversion Therapy. The Green party and the Maori party support the bill, along with Young Labour, Young Greens and Young Nats.

I am Hope, Mental Health foundation, New Zealand Psychology Society, and Youthline, are just some of the many organisations that are also in favour of the bill.

So, what is the bill trying to achieve?

The bill states: 

The Government’s objectives in prohibiting conversion practices are to—

  • affirm the dignity of all people and that no sexual orientation or gender identity is broken and in need of fixing:

  • prevent the harm conversion practices cause in New Zealand and provide an avenue for redress:

  • uphold the human rights of all New Zealanders, including of rainbow New Zealanders, to live free from discrimination and harm.” 

If so many political parties and organisations are for banning conversion therapy, why isn’t illegal already?

Our government is moving to ban conversion therapy... Nationwide churches and TERFS are making submissions against banning conversion therapy

- Shaneel Lal, Founder of @EndConversionTherapyNZ

So, because people and organisations are making submissions against the bill, we need as many submissions for the bill as possible, if we want to put an end to Conversion Therapy.

So, how do I make a submission?

It is super easy to make a submission, and it’ll take you 5 minutes tops. Shaneel Lal has almost done all of the work for you!

Head to Shaneel’s Instagram, or the Ending Conversion Therapy Instagram. Click the link in their bio, then click the template that applies to you. 

Shaneel has outlined the simple steps to make a submission… it’s that easy!

Make sure to edit the template they’ve given you slightly, the more personal, the more likely it’ll be read.

What is the fundamental principle of Conversion Therapy? That being LGBTQIA+ is wrong and it can be fixed. Both untrue. You can't fix something that isn't broken. It is only when you put LGBTQIA+ people through Conversion Therapy that you start breaking them

- Shaneel Lal.

We’d like to give a huge thanks to Shaneel for all of the work they do for Aotearoa’s Rainbow Community - and making it so easy by providing us with submission templates and info, to help change NZ for the better. 

Check out a summary of this article on our Instagram.