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One great step for LGBTQI acceptance, now it’s NZ’s turn

One great step for LGBTQI acceptance, now it’s NZ’s turn

The Counselling Association is calling on New Zealand to follow in the British government’s example, which yesterday banned gay conversion therapies as part of its LGBT Action Plan.

The New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) strongly commends the move which will go some way towards improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the U.K.

Now, NZAC says, we should do the same and immediately outlaw such detrimental ‘therapy’ practices in New Zealand.

“People express gender and sexuality in many diverse ways, so it’s incredibly wrong and hugely harmful to people’s wellbeing if they’re being ‘converted’ to fit a mould,” NZAC president Bev Weber says.

“New Zealand is an understanding and accepting community, but we can do more for our LBGTQI Kiwis, so they feel comfortable expressing who they are without fear of persecution.”

Ms Weber was shocked and disappointed to learn gay conversion therapy still occurred in New Zealand after it featured last month on TVNZ’s current affairs’ show Sunday.

She hopes the government takes notice of the UK’s more than 75 commitments to tackle LGBTQI injustices across all walks of life – including health, education and discrimination.

Part of the plan included legislating options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy, with an intent to protect people who are vulnerable to harm or violence “whether that occurs in a medical, commercial or faith-based context”.

“We would all greatly benefit from such action here in New Zealand. Every deserves to be comfortable in their own skin and have the same rights as everybody as,” Ms Weber says.


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