2 Feb 2022

National Party to allow conscience vote on conversion therapy ban bill

6:30 pm on 2 February 2022

The National Party will allow MPs to vote with their conscience on a bill banning conversion therapy, after MPs collectively voted against the first reading under Judith Collins.

Christopher Luxon

National Party leader Christopher Luxon says he is a proud supporter of the LGBTQI+ community. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

At the time, the party said changes needed to be made to the wording of the bill.

It is understood this caused division in the National caucus between its more liberal MPs and the religious conservatives.

However today, the Justice Select Committee's report on the bill shows a softening of National's stance under Christopher Luxon.

"National Party members hold a range of views on this bill, and intend to vote as a matter of conscience during the remaining stages of the bill," the report said.

In a statement to RNZ, Luxon said "I fully support the legislation and I anticipate the vast majority of National MPs will too.

"I am a proud supporter of the LGBTQI+ community. I want New Zealand to be a country that celebrates and supports diversity, including our rainbow community.

"There will be those with different views for different reasons across Parliament. These sorts of issues are traditionally treated as conscience issues, and we determined as a caucus that this was the appropriate course in this instance."

The ACT Party indicated they still do not support the bill in its current form.

The select committee heard oral submissions from 837 submitters in total, made up of 716 individuals and 121


Among the concerns raised were that parents could be criminalised.

However, the select committee found that "conversations between parents and children would not be criminalised under the offence in clause 8."

"We believe that the standard for a behaviour to be considered a conversion practice in the bill is appropriately high," it said.

Labour, Greens and Te Paati Māori already support the bill and neither National or ACT is not needed to pass the legislation.

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