Contrary to some of the narrative by supporters of the ‘conversion therapy’ bill – including Labour and Green members of the Select committee – parents, carers, teachers and counsellors could be criminalised for rightly wanting to protect children from the physical, emotional and psychological harm caused by gender dysphoria, for promoting biology, and for teaching any form of bibilical sexual ethic.
MPs such as Emily Henderson, Ginny Anderson & Louisa Wall (Labour) and Elizabeth Kerekere & Jan Logie (Greens) who are all on the Select Committee at various times are trying to persuade submitters that they don’t understand the bill and that the concerns about the bill are unjustified. But the concerns are completely justified!
How do we know this?
The Ministry of Justice’s own analysis of the proposed law admits this. It says “.interactions within a family would also be captured if they meet the definition of conversion practices.” Their Regulatory Impact Statement also acknowledges that prayer, counselling, family discussions, parenting advice will be caught
Crown Law advice to the Attorney-General also alludes to this. “There is no doubt that as expressed the prohibition will extend to activities and communications that occur within families and within religious groupings.” And “the broad definition of those practices creates the risk that it could extend further, to the exchange of thoughts or opinions about sexuality and gender that occur within the family/whānau or religious groups that do warrant protection and where the limitation could not easily be justified.” And “there is a potential chilling effect on legitimate expressions of opinion within families/whānau about sexuality and gender”
[Ironically, they try to argue that the bill only targets “change or suppress” and not “confront or reject“. This offers no assurance to parents, faith communities, counsellors and carers. In fact, suggesting that to “reject” someone as being appropriate is bizarre. It also is dubious to claim that the bill wants to promote “respectful and open discussions”.]
The NZ Law Society submission criticises the law for “not giving a reasonably clear description of exactly what conduct is prohibited”…It rightly says “there is no definition of gender identity in this legislation or any other New Zealand legislation” …. And that “omissions to provide assistance, acceptance, support and understanding could count as a conversion practice in some contexts” (contrary to some claims from non-legal people)
Grant Illingworth QC in his opinion of the bill rightly points out: “If enacted into law, and even if a narrow interpretation of ‘conversion practices’ were to be accepted by the courts, the proposed legislation would almost certainly have a profound ‘chilling effect’ on freedom of expression concerning gender issues. Some people would be afraid to talk about the subject, or to advance strong opinions, for fear of being prosecuted or being subjected to a claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1993. The idea that the proposed legislation would promote respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality is therefore difficult to accept, despite the limited exemptions in clause 5(2).”
As Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi and the Prime Minister admitted in media interviews, a parent who promotes biological sex could be criminalised, but an activist who indoctrinates young children with the concept of ‘gender fluidity’ and ‘third gender’ will be celebrated.
Patrick Parkinson AM is an Australian expert on family law and child protection with 35 years’ experience in these fields, now Professor of Law at the University of Queensland. His legal opinion says:
“The Bill creates a draconian offence… some mental health professionals refuse to see young patients with sexual orientation or gender identity issues who have other serious mental health concerns. This could lead to an increase in the mental health burden on already very troubled young people, and may lead to increased suicide attempts.
“Parents who act upon expert medical advice in helping their children with gender identity issues risk prosecution and jail sentences under the law as currently drafted.
So who do you believe. Labour and Green MPs with a vested interest in pushing this bill and its narrative – OR legal experts?
Pretty simple answer, isn’t it.