New Zealand’s ruling party, the Labour party promised to put an end to conversion therapy in the country once elected again, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported.
The next election for New Zealand will happen this month.
According to RNZ, the party will also partner with schools to establish gender-neutral restrooms and ensure healthcare is responsive to all sexual orientation, identity, and expression (SOGIE).
The party will also invest $4 million for young LGBTQs mental health services.
The party leads LGBT+ law reforms in the country, said Tāmati Coffey, spokesperson of Labour Rainbow, the party’s LGBT+ sector.
“We have advanced a lot this term,” says Coffey.
However, Coffeyshared that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure LGBT+ can live free of discrimination.
One of them is passing a law to ban “the harmful practice of conversion therapy,” Coffey added.
It is a practice that causes harm and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and suicide, said Coffey.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister and leader of the Labour party, Jacinda Ardern, has talked about banning conversion therapy in the past.
What is Conversion Therapy?
Conversion Therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign, is a varying set of practices that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation, identity, and expression.
It inflicts pain and suffering to LGBT+ people that usually results in a person’s physical and psychological damage.
Moreover, according to a UN report, conversion therapy includes beating, r*pe, electrocution, confinement, physical and verbal humiliation.
The scientific community and various medical and mental health institutions have already debunked the practice.
However, the practice continues because of societal discrimination against the LGBT+.
In June, the United Nations, through its Independent Expert, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, calls on a ban against the practice.
Conversion therapy is based on the belief that LGBT+ people are inferior, said Madrigal-Borloz.
For many, modifying a person’s identity is crucial to cure their “supposed inferiority,” said the expert.