Churches attempt to end ban on New Zealand gay conversion ‘therapy’
Self-proclaimed Bishop Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church have launched a campaign to stop the New Zealand government from passing laws that would provide additional protections for LGBTQIA + people.
An article Tamaki wrote on August 12 of this year titled ‘Are we intimidated and dominated by a gay agenda?recently circulated on social networks.
In the article, Tamaki speaks out against the Self-Identification Bill, which would allow trans and gender-diverse people to change their pronouns on their birth certificates and the Prohibition of “Bill”. conversion therapy.
Tamaki claimed that these laws are used to force Christians to be silent.
Churches urge New Zealand government not to pass conversion practices bill
Founder of Conversion Therapy Action Group New Zealand, Shaneel Lal said he noticed followers of the Tamaki Church promoting this article in the comments section of the End Conversion Therapy NZ social media pages.
“When the conversion therapy bill went to the select committee, they (the followers of Destiny Church) started publishing this article,” Lal said.
“No one had heard of this article when it came out. It is only recently that it has gained ground.
Lal also said the Arise Church submitted a letter, which was signed by 18 other churches, asking the government not to pass the conversion therapy bill.
“When you have a church with a membership of 2,000 people sending an email asking others to submit a submission, just imagine the impact 18 churches could have,” Lal said.
Feared that the bill will be watered down
Last month, the Bill on the Prohibition of Conversion Practices Legislation passed at first reading with 87 votes in favor and 33 against. The only party that opposed sending the bill to the next stage was the National Party.
During the proceedings, National Party Leader Judith Collins raised concerns similar to those Tamaki addressed in her article on how the bill can criminalize parents.
However, according to section 5 of the current bill, counseling one’s children or having a conversation does not meet the definition of a practice and certainly not the threshold for criminalization. It is only when the church or a parent actively represses or forces someone to change their gender or gender identity that they will be considered a criminal.
With less than a week for people to make submissions to the select committee, Lal said they feared the current bill would be amended to appease religious groups and individuals in New Zealand.
“We cannot afford to pass watered down law because we need to make sure that all members of the LBTQIA + community are protected from conversion therapy. “
“The queer community is small in New Zealand and we could be outnumbered, which is why we made a huge call out it is up to our international community to speak out in favor of banning conversion therapy.
Submissions can still be made by anyone living in New Zealand or elsewhere in the New Zealand Parliament website.
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