General News

New Zealand set to ban conversion therapy

Rachel Badham August 3, 2021

New Zealand is likely to be the next country to nationally ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy after a bill was introduced that would prohibit the controversial practice in nearly all contexts. According to Reuters, the bill would outlaw any attempts to change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of people under 18, with those who violate the regulations facing prison. 

Justice minister Kris Faafoi said that conversion therapy has “no place in modern New Zealand”, adding: “[The practices] are based on the false belief that any person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is broken and in need of fixing.” He also noted that many healthcare professionals have “have spoken out against these practices as harmful and having the potential to perpetuate prejudice, discrimination, and abuse”.

Meanwhile, conversion therapy continues to be legal in the UK. March 28 marked 1,000 days since the government first promised to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, with Boris Johnson referring to the practice as “abhorrent”. A debate was held earlier this year but so far no official ban has been enacted.