Young Greens and Young Labour petition the Government to ban conversion therapy

From New Zealand Young Labour & The Young Greens of Aotearoa New Zealand

The practice of Conversion Therapy harms the mental health of LGBTTQIA+ people in Aotearoa and should be outlawed.

Together, Young Labour and the Young Greens are working to gather the signatures of people across the country who support our mission to end unethical and inhumane treatment of the rainbow community.

We believe every person has a right to live as their authentic self, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. Moreover, people have a right to be free from coercion into treatments that exist to say that they are wrong and broken.

We echo the calls made by The Association of Counsellors and the Association of Social Workers to ban the practice, as the harmful process leads to depression, anxiety and, in extreme cases, suicide.

Co-Convenor of the Young Greens, Max Tweedie says, “I was shocked when I learned this was happening in Aotearoa. When I was 14, I was told to leave my youth group when I told them I was gay. I was made to feel wrong and rejected by people I had spent time with for years. It was damaging. I can’t begin to imagine the damage conversion therapy could cause.

“It’s a privilege to start this petition with Young Labour, and on behalf of our rainbow community in Aotearoa who have been calling for a ban since the issue was raised in the public domain. Both Labour and the Greens have been pioneers for our community, and I hope they continue that tradition by banning this damaging and harmful practice.”

Young Labour’s Rainbow Organiser, Ted Greensmith West says, “the Labour Party has a proud history of supporting LGBTTQIA+ rights in Aotearoa, and the current government lead by Jacinda Ardern is already continuing that legacy.”

“Together with our allies in the Young Greens, it feeds good to take a stand beside our LGBTTQIA+ whānau and for their right to live without shame. This means making sure that all LGBTTQIA+ kids feel like they belong in a world where they are loved and cherished.”

Young Labour President, Matt van Wijk says, “Today we are asking that everyone who believes this practice is harmful and outdated to join us and take a moment to sign our petition calling for the government to ban this horrific practice.”

The petition will be presented to MPs on the Parliament Lawn on the 14th of August 2018.

Those interested in reading and signing the petition can find it on parliament website here.

 

Further Enquiries please contact:

 

Max Tweedie

Co-Convenor of the Young Greens of Aotearoa New Zealand

max.tweedie@greens.org.nz | 027 868 0774

 

Matt van Wijk

President of New Zealand Young Labour

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