'They're not broken' – MP proposes law to ban conversion therapy

An MP has put a proposed law in the ballot to ban the controversial conversion therapy. 

The Member's Bill was spurred after a petition by campaigners asking for a ban of conversion therapy gathered about 20,000 signatures. 

The 20,000-strong petition calling for sexual orientation and gender conversion therapy to be outlawed was presented to Parliament today. Source: 1 NEWS

Calls to ban sexual orientation and gender conversion therapy came after TVNZ1's Sunday story earlier this year that investigated therapy offered to 'cure' people who are attracted to the same sex.

"This should not be happening," Ms Lubeck told 1 NEWS today.

"The people in the Rainbow Community, they are already heavily impacted quite often by mental health issues, they're going through rough times and the last thing they need is being offered some kind of therapy that can 'fix them'.

"They're not broken."

Ms Lubeck said she did not want it to be a political issue. "That's why I've spent a lot of time in consultation with other parties, because I believe it's a human rights issue.

"Hopefully there'll be a lot of support for it."

A Members' Bill will only go through Parliament if it is drawn from the ballot. 

Ms Lubeck's Prohibition of Conversion Therapy Bill aims to stop "advertising, offering, or performing a treatment that seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity".

It proposes a 6-12 month imprisonment and $5000-$10,000 fines. 

"Since Sunday's incredible story earlier this year, I have been working with community groups and with my colleagues across political parties to ensure this Bill will prevent further harm resulting from conversion therapy."

The petition was brought to Parliament in August, with Finance Minister Grant Robertson telling the crowd Labour's Rainbow caucus discussed the issue with Justice Minister Andrew Little. He acknowledged "we've still got a way to go" in the Human Rights Act. 

The issue of gay and trans conversion therapy was highlighted in a TVNZ1 Sunday investigation. Source: 1 NEWS