In a 112:8 vote, New Zealand’s parliament passed a legislation banning the so-called “conversion therapy” that intends to forcibly change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
The bill, introduced by the government last year, considers as an offense:
- performing conversion practices on a child or young person aged under 18, or on someone with impaired decision-making capacity; this will be punishable by up to three years imprisonment; and
- performing conversion practices on anyone, no matter their age, where the practices caused serious harm; with offenders subject to up to five years imprisonment.
The legislation also specifies what won’t be considered as conversion practice, as well as protects the right to express opinion, belief, religious belief or principle which is not intended to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.