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New Zealand lawmakers approve conversion therapy ban bill

Measure passed by 112-8 vote margin



(Photo by Takuta via Flickr)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Lawmakers in New Zealand on Tuesday approved a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

Reuters reported the bill passed by a 112-8 vote margin. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, who introduced the measure, described the vote as “a great day for New Zealand’s rainbow communities.”

Canada and Brazil are among the countries in which the discredited practice is now banned.

The French National Assembly last month unanimously approved a bill to ban conversion therapy in the country. Israeli Health Minister Nizhan Horowitz, who is openly gay, on Monday announced health care professionals can no longer practice conversion therapy in the country.


New Zealand

British TERF shut down in New Zealand by trans advocates, allies

A scheduled rally in the island nation’s capital city of Wellington by TERF supporters had been also cancelled due to security concerns



Keen-Minshull, aka Posie Parker quickly departed from the planned Speak Up For Women NZ event at Albert Park in Auckland without speaking (Screenshot/YouTube)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Transphobic British Gender-Critical activist Kellie Jay Keen-Minshull hastily abandoned her  ‘Let Women Speak’ event-rally in Auckland after thousands gathered to noisily protest her presence on Friday (Local Time).

Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, quickly departed from the planned Speak Up For Women NZ event at Albert Park in Auckland without addressing those gathered after being shouted down by a crowd of heckling trans and LGBTQ+ protesters, later estimated by police to number five thousand plus, and she was doused with tomato juice.

One of her supporters later tweeted an image of Keen-Minshull taking a selfie after she was doused in the tomato sauce:

She was escorted away from the park and the crowd by a gaggle of Auckland Police officers to safety and driven away quickly in a marker Auckland Police cruiser.

Chaotic scenes in Auckland as anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker appears | Newshub:

A scheduled rally in the island nation’s capital city of Wellington by TERF supporters and others of Keen-Minshull had been also cancelled due to security concerns.

Scotland’s billionaire writer and Harry Potter franchise creator J.K. Rowling, who has become a fiery outspoken transphobic voice in the public discourse over trans rights globally, tweeted after the Auckland event was cancelled in response to Auckland Pride’s tweeted statements:

“There are multiple videos of Kellie-Jay being assaulted. Women have become used to lies, threats of violence and outright denial of reality, but if you imagine anyone feels ‘defeated’, think again. Your men’s rights activists showed the world exactly who they are. #LetWomenSpeak

The presence of neo-Nazis dogged Keen-Minshull’s controversial tour of Australia in the past couple of weeks and led to her visa to enter New Zealand being reviewed by Immigration NZ and Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

Neo-Nazi anti-trans far-right extremists gathered outside on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia last week to support Keen-Minshull during her ‘Let Women Speak’ event-rally in the state’s capitol.

During Saturday’s demonstration, the Neo-Nazi protestors kept throwing up the stiff-arm Nazi salute shouting Nazi slogans. Last year the Victorian government had banned the Nazi swastika, with those who defied the ban facing jail terms and hefty fines, the salute however, is not covered under the law. The group also shouted homophobic and transphobic epithets and other terms denigrating the pro-trans activists as well as carried signs that read “Destroy Paedo Freaks.”

At a later gathering in Hobart, capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Keen-Parker was chased off by trans supporters as a planned gender critical Let Women Speak Australia rally she held was met with angry counter protest.

Auckland Pride also issued a statement:

Tāmaki Makaurau demonstrated its values today and stood up to the vile anti-trans hatred of Posie Parker. The thousands and thousands of Aucklanders who came out to stand in solidarity with trans communities sent a clear message to Parker, her supporters and the general public that intolerance will not be tolerated here.

Parker’s subsequent withdrawal from her Wellington event demonstrates the power of community organising and solidarity in showing her that her hateful views are not welcome here. This news will be a relief to many in our communities targeted by her hatred.

Auckland Pride unequivocally stands by peaceful protest as a means of counter protest, and does not endorse any physical violence, regardless of the extent of injury caused.

There is a narrative quickly taking hold amongst anti-trans groups and individuals that Parker abandoned her event because of violence from our community. 

We reject this narrative. We are of the firm belief that the demonstration of unity, celebration, and acceptance alongside joyous music, chanting, and noise of 5,000 supporters was too loud to overcome and the reason for her departure – and not the actions of any one individual.

We also reject that there was any further physical threat from our community towards Parker. This is a baseless rumour that is being perpetrated by those who feel defeated by the events of today. We urge the media not to repeat these allegations without evidence.

Auckland Pride was not an official organiser of today’s counterprotest, and organisers consistently reiterated that the kaupapa was one of non-violence and repeatedly encouraged people to remain peaceful.

“Do not cause or incite violence, no matter how mad the other side may make you. Introducing violence into this protest will do nothing but harm our most marginalised communities” was clear in safety messaging from the Trans Liberation Alliance beforehand.

However, as a leading voice in the community on these matters and an experienced organiser of effective and peaceful events we can play a greater role in advising and supporting future protests and counter-protests. We have taken lessons from today about our need to play a greater role to ensure future events remain peaceful and non-violent, especially in a time of rising hatred globally towards rainbow communities. 

While our community is in a celebratory mood today, we cannot forget that we have also glimpsed the scale of the challenge ahead of us in the weeks and months to come.

Auckland Pride, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Gender Minorities Aotearoa will make a decision this week about progressing our judicial review against the Minister of Immigration for his decision to let Posie Parker into the country in the first place.

For anyone who does not believe protection was necessary:

  • Neo nazis were present at today’s protest in support of Posie Parker, alongside the far-right counterspin media. 
  • Posie Parker’s attendance also mobilised Destiny Church who were violent towards Minister Davidson, and violent towards counter-protestors on Queen Street and Aotea Square. Parker’s attendance unsurprisingly mobilised a coalition of hateful groups.
  • Going into today, the Minister was made aware that this was likely and subsequently provided evidence of their expected attendance yesterday at the High Court. Justice Gendall agreed we clearly raised issues of public order yesterday.

Keen-Minshull was later seen by multiple media outlets in the international departure area of Auckland Airport.  She later tweeted:

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New Zealand

Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly Transgender MP, dies

Former New Zealand Parliamentarian passed away Monday



Former New Zealand MP Georgina Beyer. (Screen capture via Te Karere TVNZ/YouTube)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The world’s first openly Transgender parliamentarian died on Monday in New Zealand.

The Associated Press reported former MP Georgina Beyer, 65, passed away in hospice care.

Beyer, who the AP said was Māori, was a sex worker and nightclub performer before her election as mayor of Carterton, a town on New Zealand’s North Island, in 1995. She won a seat in the New Zealand Parliament as a member of the country’s liberal Labour Party in 1999 and remained in office until 2007.

Beyer, among other things, led efforts to decriminalize sex work in New Zealand and to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. (The country’s marriage equality law took effect in 2013.)

“Georgie was surrounded by her nearest and dearest 24/7 over the past week, she accepted what was happening, was cracking jokes and had a twinkle in her eye, right until the final moment,” wrote her friend Malcolm Vaughan and his husband, Scott Kennedy, in a statement that announced Beyer’s death. 

The statement also described Beyer as a national treasure, or “taonga” in Māori.

“Farewell Georgie, your love, compassion and all that you have done for the rainbow and many other communities will live on forever,” wrote Vaughan and Kennedy.

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New Zealand

New Zealand passes a self-ID bill for Trans people

“The bill recognises those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so-” courts do not have the right to make that choice for them”



Trans Health Care Now marching at Wellington, NZ International Pride Parade 2018 (Photo Credit: Trans Health Care Now NZ)

WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s parliament on Thursday passed a bill, first introduced in 2018, that will allow Trans New Zealanders to self-ID. The legislation removes the statutory legal requirement for a determination of gender identity/gender marker to be backed by documentation from a medical professional for changing birth certificates and other official documents.

Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere, Member of Parliament and an Out lesbian and Trans ally, told the NZ Herald;

“This bill recognises that those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so, that the courts do not have the right to make that choice for them, that parents do not have that right, that cisgender people who don’t even know them or care about them do not have that right.”

“As a takatāpui, cis-lesbian fem ally to our takatāpui, trans and intersex non-binary whānau, I am very proud to commend this bill to the house,” she added.

The Herald also reported that MP Jan Tinetti, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Women, and Associate Minister of Education noted that it was a “a proud day in Aotearoa’s history”.

She paid tribute to Trans New Zealanders who had been; “hurt, mocked, belittled and discriminated against”.

“A lot of discussion was aimed at trans women. As a cis woman I am proud to stand alongside my sisters,” she said adding “Trans misogyny is still misogyny. […] “We are changing legislation that is truly a step closer to an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. Keep proudly being you.”

The legislation will take affect in 18 months after the New Zealand government consults with the Trans community and others to ensure the legislation works to support those it concerns.

Consultation will begin next year on the regulations which will determine who is a suitably qualified third party to support applications for young people; find a way to make sure the sex markers available for the birth certificate include non-binary and cultural options; and determine any additional requirements for anyone seeking to amend their registered sex more than once, the Herald reported.

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New Zealand

New Zealand seeks to ban conversion therapy

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi introduced bill on Friday



New Zealand flag (By Takuta via Flickr)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, who is a member of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labor Party, on Friday introduced the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill.

“Conversion practices have no place in modern New Zealand,” said Faafoi in a statement that announced the bill’s introduction. “They are based on the false belief that any person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is broken and in need of fixing.”

“Health professionals, religious leaders and human rights advocates here and overseas have spoken out against these practices as harmful and having the potential to perpetuate prejudice, discrimination and abuse towards members of rainbow communities,” added Faafoi.

The bill would make it an “offense to perform conversion practices on anyone — irrespective of age — where the practices have caused serious harm, and would carry up to five years imprisonment.” The bill would also make it “an offense to perform conversion practices on a child or young person aged under 18, or on someone with impaired decision-making capacity” and anyone who practices them could face up to three years in prison.

Conversion therapy survivors could also file complaints with New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Rainbow Youth, an LGBTQ rights group in New Zealand, welcomed the bill.

“We’re excited about this step to safeguard LBGTIQA+ people around Aotearoa,” said the group in a tweet, referring to the country by its Maori name.

Ardern told Express, an LGBTQ newspaper in New Zealand, during a 2020 interview that she and her party support the bill.

“We support it,” she said. “I support it.”

New Zealand would join Malta and a handful of other countries that ban conversion therapy if the bill becomes law.

The Canadian House of Commons in June approved a measure that would ban conversion therapy in the country. The Canadian Senate is expected to debate the bill later this year.

German lawmakers last year approved a bill that banned conversion therapy for minors in the country. California, D.C., Virginia and Maryland are among the U.S. jurisdictions that also prohibit the practice.

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