Help us end conversion therapy

It’s been so encouraging to see the strong support for banning conversion therapy in Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’m so impressed by the leadership being shown by the Young Greens and Young Labour on this.

Green Party policy states our commitment to “reflecting the gender and sex diversity within our societies. We believe our communities will be healthier and more vibrant when we’re all acknowledged and included.”

We are opposed to conversion therapies that seek to deny and suppress our diversity, and can cause real damage to the health of our young people in particular.

Conversion therapies essentially say everyone can be straight and cis-gendered if they just work or pray hard enough. That’s wrong. Diversity exists within our society and it’s not possible to pray or talk or shock away the gay or the queer or the trans…

Conversion therapies say that there’s something wrong with being who you know yourself to be. When who you are doesn’t fit into very narrow and antiquated ideas of humanity. That’s also wrong.

We haven’t eradicated prejudice against LGBTQI people yet. Queer bullying rates are high in our schools, and there are major mental health consequences for the survivors and witnesses of this bullying. Sometimes these consequences can be fatal. This reality can make it even harder for people, especially young people, to come to terms with themselves. This is why conversion therapies are such an issue for our young people. Because they compound an existing problem with bullying and the mental health crisis.

I’ve had friends who have been taken through conversion therapy programmes. While they came out the other end and are now thriving, it’s clear from their stories that it made it harder for them to be at peace with themselves. Not everyone makes it through the other end. This is why we need action.

There’s still 12 days to go before the petition closes.

The Greens will support this kaupapa by accepting the petition at Parliament and working with other parties to support action. Sign the petition to help us end this cruel and dangerous practice.