The Banning of Gay Conversion Therapy Bill – First Reading Highlights and Lowlights

The Banning of Gay Conversion Therapy Bill – First Reading Highlights and Lowlights

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This publication was submitted to thisquality – Today I took the time to watch the controversial Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill(s), which Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi delivered.

Prior to this, it was a private members bill from member Marja Lubeck — then elevated to a government.

There wasn't a formal request for the Bill to have a personal vote as it was a variation from the norm before the first reading with the End of Life Choice Bill from ACT's David Seymour.

Minister Faafoi introduced the first speech for the bill to lay out the foundations.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

The second speech from Opposition MP, Hon Simon Bridges, highlighted not conversion therapy but the rights of parents to say no to their children suffering from Gender Dysphoria after taking a Puberty blocker.

Spieling that the Bill would make it a criminal offence for parents to say no. Further mentioning how ‘we want to support the law' but will ‘not support it' until an amendment spares them from criminal prosecution.

Would he consider a homophobic parent kicking out their child for being a member of the LGBTQ community, answering no to the independent youth payment.

Further, it was added that they could come home as long as they'd act like a Cis-gender person suppressing their identity. As an acceptable parenting practice.

Simon Bridges voted against Gay Marriage in 2013.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 2 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

A third speech was presented by Hon Dr Ayesha Verral — a member of the LGBTQ community. She'd mentioned how there is a higher rate of mental in LGBTQ than in Straight people. Adding that those subjected to gay conversion therapy were more at risk of suicide.

LGBTQ members require a place to belong. Conversion therapy is about something that is broken in them, to cancel their identity.

Calling conversion therapy a form of torture by using the word therapy equates it to a form of treatment. It undermines the words of medicine to push practice.

She was proud to support this bill.

Member of the LGBTQ community, Hon Dr Ayesha Verral.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 3 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

A fourth speech was presented by Hon Louise Upston, which started off as an agreement with ninety-five percent of the speech from Dr Verral.

The National Party condemns Conversion Therapy and condemns abusive practices that prevent someone from being who they are.

Typically from someone with who they choose to share the love.

It was clear National wanted to support the bill but could not until there was an assurance parents could not be prosecuted from it.

She wants it to pass unanimously, mainly for the sticking point of being about parents.

Louise Upston votes against Gay Marriage in 2013.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 4 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

After her speech, Greens MP Chlöe Swarbrick put a motion forward for the bill to be tabled in the house since National did not entirely read the bill. Followed by National MP, Simeon Brown, to put in an objection.

The fifth speech from member of the LGBTQ community, Marja Lubeck, details affirmation there was no medical evidence gay conversion therapy works.

Medical professionals across the world widely condemn the practice as well as New Zealand.

It was mentioned that it doesn't work and poses harmful negative psychological effects on the people who experience it.

Marja Lubeck on the stories of those surviving conversion therapy.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 5 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

In the sixth speech, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere (PhD), a member of the LGBTQ community, began by mentioning Māori history.

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Colonial missionaries deemed enjoyment of sexual fluidity as wrong; any fluidity and gender identity were wrong along with taking language.

She added more about huge correspondents from survivors of gay conversion therapy expressing its need to end.

Member of the LGBTQ community Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 6 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

A seventh speech by Nicole Mckee, the justice spokesperson for ACT, said they will be supporting the bill to the Select Committee.

It would need lots of work for them to support it beyond the Select Committee stage.

The process on how the Salvation Army, of their process to showing support with a family member coming out, that doesn't encourage or force someone to practice Gay conversion therapy.

Nicole Mckee on ACT and the Select Committee.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 7 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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The eighth speech, Tamati Coffee, a member of the LGBTQ community, mentioned how he wasn't about to get married in his 20s.

Being able to get married in his 30s, and in 40s — seeing the banning of gay conversion therapy, along with making it easier for Rainbow Couples on becoming parents.

Tamati Coffee midlife choices and conversion therapy.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 8 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

For the ninth speech, Louisa Wall, a member of the LGBTQ community and the member who sponsored the Marriage Equality Bill in 2013.

She'd mentioned statistics about a US study on conversion therapy. About twenty-eight percent of those who went through conversion therapy experienced suicide, while those who didn't show, only twelve percent committed suicide. The conclusion is harmful.

History about conversion therapy and how seen as an illness.

Louisa Wall voted for Gay Marriage in 2013.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 9 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

The tenth Speech by Chris Penk came across as being more moderate than his previous 2 colleagues.

It uttered about how he's looking forward to debating it in the Select Committee.

Chris Penk in the debate over conversion therapy.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 10 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

For the Eleventh Speech, Rawiri Waititi, commenced with being on the right side of history and not wait till a valedictory speech to apologize for it.

He freely admits he knows very little about Gay conversion therapy but wants to learn about it,

Rawiri Waititi fast-tracking change for Aotearoa.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 11 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

In the twelfth speech, Glen Bennett, a member of the LGBTQ community, talks about how he is from the church community and the rainbow committee.

They both love and support him. He added that his age at the time of when the difference in changes were made and where he was at time law of equality changes was made.

Member of the LGBTQ community, Glen Bennett.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 12 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

The thirteenth Speech from Barbara Kuriger kept with the idea from National, stating it is unacceptable for violent and abusive conversion therapy.

She supports the core intent but does not exactly support the idea. Summarising a three-stage process of how a bill is treated.

It was more about having a grown-up conversation about the topic at the Select Committee.

Barbara Kuriger follows the traits of National's idea.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 13 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

A fourteenth speech by Shanan Halbert, a member of the LGBTQ community, considers inclusiveness in the community about LGBTQ.

The increase in HIV testing and funding in the reduction and prevention of HIV was mentioned.

A high number of LGBTQ among the Pacifica community was about being subjected to gay conversion therapy and the punishment some members have suffered from those that are meant to love them.

Member of the LGBTQ community, Shanan Halbert.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 14 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

In final, the vote — a party vote was used where 87-33 of the motion passed.

National was the only party to vote against the legislation. The motion was put forward for it to go to the Justice Select Committee, National voted against it going to the Select Committee. Thus, only 4 members from the National Party were in the House at the end of the Debate.

The final decision of the majority vote.
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 15 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

Summary: Labour was all for it with all speeches except the first from the Minister. All LGBTQ members of their caucus, likewise with the Greens.

ACT raised concerns but want it to get to the Select Committee, and National simply fancied one clause that protects parents from prosecution, which isn't in the bill at first reading and voted against it.

National's comments in the house could impose a rollback of other legislation that protects the rights of children.

The Māori Party was keen to be on board and support it all the way.

Image: SUPPLIED/Facebook [Tamati Coffey – August 5, 2021]
Videos: Parliament TV (Vimeo)

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