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New Zealand prime minister's party promises to ban conversion therapy

New Zealand prime minister's party promises to ban conversion therapy
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ruling party plans to ban conversion therapy if reelected, an official said this week.

“Conversion therapy has been linked to severe adverse mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation — that’s why it will be banned under a reelected Labour Government,” Labour Party leader Tāmati Coffey told Reuters

“It is a practice that causes harm and is out of place in the kind, inclusive and modern country we are,” he continued.

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The news agency noted that New Zealand’s government is currently led by the Labour Party, which Ardern heads, in a coalition with the Green Party and the New Zealand First Party. Her government is reportedly expected to easily win reelection later this month.

Ardern reportedly voiced support for banning conversion therapy previously.

Conversion therapy is a highly controversial practice designed to change a person's sexual orientation. It is has been widely condemned as ineffective by the mental health community and is believed to cause psychological harm.

A number of states in the U.S. have passed legislation banning the practice of gay conversion therapy for minors in recent years, like Colorado, Virginia and Maine.

Germany also announced plans to ban the practice for minors last year.