Pressure mounts on Government to ban gay conversion therapy

Increasing pressure is being heaped on the Government to ban gay conversion therapy, with the young wings of the Labour Party and Greens now lobbying for an end to the practice.

Gay conversation therapy attempts to 'cure' gay people by making them heterosexual.

Young Greens co-convener Max Tweedie says he was told to leave his youth group when he told them he's gay.

"I was made to feel wrong and rejected by people I had spent time with for years. It was damaging. I can't begin to imagine the damage conversion therapy could cause," he said.

Paul Stevens was put through 15 sessions of gay conversion therapy when he was 15 years old. He told The Project last week the practice is a version of hate speech and should be banned.

"I wanted to change. It was something that I had been brought up to believe - that it was not OK to be gay," he said.

Vicar Revered Helen Jacobi of rainbow-friendly church St Matthew-in-the-city told Newshub the practice is psychologically damaging.

"If it needs to be banned in order to stop it, then that's what should happen," Rev Jacobi told Newshub.

One practice that offers the therapy is Living Wisdom in Nelson. It charges $172.50 an hour for counselling over the telephone, Skype or one-on-one. 

The practitioners at Living Wisdom say sexual orientation is "more affected by nurture from formative years than merely one's given nature".

In a statement, it said "sexual disorientation" is always a result of factors including "family stress" and "broken role models".