Should gay conversion therapy be banned?

Stuff reports:

The petition presented on Wednesday was made up of 15,448 signatures obtained by by the Young Greens and Young Labour, and another 5157 signatures obtained by the Rodney Area Rainbow LGBTQ+.

InsideOut National Coordinator Tabby Besley said a ban was important because gay conversion therapy was an “extremely damaging, harmful practice”.

“We already are five times more likely to attempt suicide than non-rainbow people in New Zealand and [gay conversion therapy] sends people into this place where they’re being told that who they are is wrong.”

Gay conversion therapy is a terrible thing which does cause harm. It is based on the false belief that being gay is a choice. Gay people no more choose to be gay than I choose to be heterosexual.

Labour MP Louisa Wall said the party would like to discuss the options National, as well as within caucus.

“To be responsive we have to the discussions with our coalition partners,” she said.

“The National Party need to be a part of this conversation and stand with us and say anything that harms, particularly, our young people, we all must take some responsibility in ending it.”

One can agree that something is harmful and bad but that doesn’t mean it should be banned by the state.

Quite a few cults are harmful. They are not banned. Scientology looks pretty harmful to me, but that isn’t banned.

A further issue would be how do you define gay conversion therapy? A wide definition could catch all sorts of things such as sermons.

If there was a well crafted bill on this issue, I’d support to select committee to allow submissions on it. I’d want to try and find out how much of a problem is this in NZ today.

To my mind though the best way to stop gay conversion therapy is discredit it and to have an environment where young Kiwis who are gay are not made to feel they are “wrong”. Stuff such as same sex marriage has helped with that.

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