Select committee fails to recommend conversion therapy ban

LGBTQ advocates are disappointed the Justice Select Committee didn't recommend a ban on conversion therapy.

The committee had been considering a ban on the pseudoscientific practice, which relies on the claim that a person can be "converted" away from being attracted to others of the same sex, or transgender. It said an outright ban would jeopardise religious freedom.

LGBTQ festival Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie told Newshub the practice doesn't work and can cause harm.

"The kind of premise of conversion therapy is based on the idea that someone's sexual or gender identity is wrong and therefore can be changed."

He said claims a ban would impact on religious freedom were a cop-out.

"We don't allow stoning of homosexuals on the basis of religious freedom because obviously that causes harm."

Labour Party MP Marja Lubek has put forward a Member's Bill to ban conversion therapy, while Labour youth MP Shaneel Lal called for an end to the practice during a speech in Parliament in July.

A petition from Young Labour and Young Greens has called for an end to conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Tweedie said he wants to see more action from the Government against the practice.

"The consensus is that it should be banned and I think that they should just get on with it and make a swift, positive change for our rainbow community."