Govt To Jail Parents For Affirming Daughter As Girl, Son As Boy

Credit: Original article can be found here

Family First NZ says that the proposed ‘conversion
therapy’ ban will be yet another attack on parents’
rights, is fundamentally flawed and unfair, and has been
opposed by the Ministry of Health, a government select
committee, and by the general public.

A ban would
criminalise parents who wish to protect their child from the
physical, emotional, and psychological harm caused by gender
dysphoria. Shockingly, parents would be criminalised and
potentially liable up to five years in jail simply for
affirming that their sons are boys and their daughters are
girls. These bans will lock children into
transgenderism.

The government want to
criminalise the discussion and practice of alternatives to
hormones, surgery and confusion.

Merely
encouraging a gender confused child to wait for the
orientating effects of puberty to be worked through may be
considered a form of child abuse, or ‘domestic or
psychological abuse’ as has been suggested by the
Australian Labor party, and is happening in Canada
and the U.S.

A
parent who promotes biological sex will be criminalised, but
an activist who indoctrinates young children with the
concept of ‘gender fluidity’ and ‘third gender’ will
be celebrated. This is not loving or compassionate towards
children. Numerous reviews show the majority of children who
are confused about their gender also suffer from diagnosed
mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

It
will also be dangerous for a therapist to counsel someone
with gender dysphoria in a way that affirms their biology.
Islamic and Christian schools could be breaking the law for
teaching their students that Allah/God made us male and
female. Church leaders, youth workers and imams could become
criminals for reading and explaining the Quran or the Bible
– that is, for doing their job. According to the
government bill, consent is not relevant.

If
a person wanted to align their sexuality with the teachings
and values of their particular faith – be it Muslim or
Christian, Jewish or Sikh – and sought help to do so from
a minister, imam or other faith leader, a ban would make it
virtually impossible to access the support they wanted.
Furthermore, if they were able to find someone prepared to
provide counselling of that kind, they could well cause that
person to become implicated in a criminal
offence.

The right of
self-determination is a founding principle of the mental
health profession
, and for children, the wider
whanau / family is part of this important value and support
base.

The Human Rights Commission in response to an
Official Information Act request from Family First NZ has
admitted that there has only been one informal complaint and
no formal complaints in the past 10 year in relation to
‘conversion therapy’. A ‘formal complaint’ is where
the other party is notified of a complaint against them. The
Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, in
response to a similar inquiry, was also unable to provide
any specific numbers. An informal search of 1400 decisions
dating back to 1997 suggests that there have been no
complaints around ‘conversion therapy’. Some of the
politicians who have previously supported the proposed ban
have admitted
they’re also not aware of any cases of involuntary
‘conversion therapy’ in their
communities.

DISSENTING VOICES:

Official
advice to the Minister and Associate Minister of Health
regarding ‘conversion therapy’ has revealed that a ban
is not recommended. Official
Information Act requests
show that in 2018, Associate
Minister of Health and Green MP Julie Anne Genter was
advised by the Ministry of Health:

“Due to the
current protections that are in place, and the need to
balance the rights of people with preventing harm, it is not
recommended that a legislative ban of conversion therapy
would be the most effective way to reduce the harm it
causes…”

The ministerial advice also notes
that people have the freedom to willingly engage in the
practice, that protections already exist in the health
sector, and that a ban “could be inconsistent”
with the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 “which provides for
rights of assembly, free speech and rights to freedom of
religion
”.

In 2019, the Justice Select
Committee, consisting of MPs from Labour and National,
considered two petitions wanting to ban ‘conversion
therapy’. In their report,
they rightly declined to support such a ban,
stating:

“The Bill of Rights Act affirms,
protects, and promotes human rights and fundamental freedoms
in New Zealand. It allows all New Zealanders to live free
from discrimination, including in relation to their sexual
orientation. New Zealanders also have the right to freedom
of religion. This protects those who offer and seek out
conversion therapy because of their religious
views.”

A nationwide
poll
at the beginning of this year also found that there
is widespread public opposition to the legal effects of a
‘conversion therapy’ ban. 81% of respondents said they
believed a person should be able to seek counselling support
to determine their own direction if they are unsure about
their sexual orientation or gender identity. 81% said that
it should not be a crime for a parent to affirm to their
daughter that she’s a girl or to their son that he’s a
boy. And just 16% think it should be a crime for a faith
leader to teach a Biblical or Koran view of sexuality, and
of gender being determined at birth. In all three questions,
there was no significance difference in responses based on
gender, age, area, socio-economic factors or political party
support.

We agree with the proponents – all New
Zealanders should be protected from coercive, abusive or
involuntary psychological or spiritual practices. Sadly, in
the past, many state institutions sanctioned inhumane
treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), being
stripped naked and being locked in a small room, massive
doses of medication, lobotomies and screaming patients
chained to chairs. Fortunately, these are not part of
current practice and certainly not part of any religious
organisation.

However, participation in psychological
assessments, counselling sessions, prayer meetings and other
therapeutic practices is almost always an expression of
voluntary behaviour and personal
freedom.

Under this proposed ban, people would
be prevented from getting help to live the lifestyle they
choose
– if that lifestyle is heterosexual or
based on their biological sex. While gender and sexuality is
supposedly ‘fluid’, activists want the law to stipulate
that it can only go in the direction they
approve.

Banning practices which bring about positive
change for people in pain, changes they genuinely desire for
themselves, would be the real crime. If diversity and
inclusivity are things we want for our country, then the
Prime Minister’s “everyone should be free to be who they
are” must include people who hold different ideas and
beliefs about gender and sexuality.

To penalise people
on the basis of their beliefs or personal lifestyle choices
lacks fairness and is a dangerous discrimination. To
criminalise parents who genuinely care for their children
should certainly not be a crime warranting five years in
jail.

Family First is getting a legal opinion on the
bill.

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