There is currently a Bill before Parliament to ban conversion therapy. It has passed its second reading, and only seven Members voted against it: Simon Bridges, Simeon Brown, Melissa Lee, Simon O’Connor, Shane Reti, Louise Upston, and Michael Woodhouse. They are all members of the National Party. That party allowed its members to vote according to conscience, rather than voting as a block. I do not know if any members of other parties would have voted against this Bill, had they been given the choice. They did the right thing, and I today am writing to them to thank them, and to encourage them in their stand. That letter (which I will send to them) is shared here.
No, I don’t want to see gay people coerced into torturous therapy, or indeed any therapy against their will (like anyone else). Who does? This Bill, however, would do far more than ban such treatment, which is already illegal. Conversion therapy, according to the Bill, is:
Any practice, sustained effort, or treatment that—
(a) is directed towards an individual because of the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and
(b) is done with the intention of changing or suppressing the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
So, why don’t I want to see a new Bill that bans this passed into law? Read on. My letter to these seven member of Parliament follows.
There’s an election approaching, and Prime Minister John key is pretty confident that he’ll still be Prime Minister when it’s over. Full disclosure: I won’t be voting for his party (National). Seeing some of the propaganda that has been churned out in this election lead-up has caused me to notice something I hadn’t noticed before. So I went back through political propaganda from previous years, and there it was. I hadn’t seen it before, but it was there.
In a recent referendum, respondents overwhelming indicated that they want the law changed so that once again, parents who use a light smack as part of correcting their children have no committed a criminal act. NZ Prime Minister John Key is saying that he takes the referendum outcome seriously, and that he wants to reassure parents that they will not be investigated or prosecuted just for smacking a child. See the story here.
Police and Child Youth and Family officials will be warned to not prosecute parents for lightly smacking their children.
Prime Minister John Key told the Sunday Star-Times in Sydney yesterday he was planning to introduce “increased safeguards” to prevent parents who gave their children “minor” or “inconsequential” smacks from being either investigated or prosecuted.
The PM claims that he actually supports the view of those who voted no.
Mr Key also told TVNZ’s Q&A programme this morning that he agreed with the result. “I agree and support their view there, I think it would be totally inappropriate for a New Zealand parent to be prosecuted for lightly smacking a child.
Here’s the problem: The view of those who completed the referendum is that a smack as part of good parental correction should not be a criminal offence. Unless the law is changed, it will continue to be a criminal offence. To say that it will remain a criminal offence, but police will be advised not to prosecute these criminals, is not to share that view at all.
Criminals should be prosecuted. If a reasonable smack (not a punch, a whipping, a “good hiding,” etc) as part of normal correction should never be prosecuted, then it should not be a crime in law, which it currently is.
Stop being half hearted, Mr Key. If you share the view of the public that a smack should not be a crime, as you claim to, then seek a law change so that a smack is not a crime. It’s not complicated.
Here it is, Episode 24. The United States of America has a new president: Barack Hussein Obama. Like a lot of people, I have a few thoughts about that, and in this episode I’m sharing a few of those thoughts.