Big Gay Out organisers consider disinviting Judith Collins and National MPs after conversion therapy vote

Newshub can reveal Big Gay Out organisers are reconsidering whether to invite Judith Collins and her MPs to the annual event after National voted against a ban on gay conversion therapy.

It follows Pride organisers also telling National the party's no longer welcome.

Collins' days of proudly participating at Pride events are numbered.

"No we wouldn't want to welcome the National Party to Pride because of their really dangerous and harmful positions," says Pride organiser Max Tweedie.

Tweedie says National's vote against a ban on gay conversion therapy equates to a vote in favour of the abhorrent practice.

"Vulnerable young people, vulnerable people generally, being submitted to these practices - that we know don't work, that cause harm in every instance, and can drive members to our community to at worst suicide - that's what the National Party is supporting."

National MPs like Nicola Willis, Erica Stanford and Chris Bishop who have previously been supportive of rainbow rights have been bundled into the party vote opposing the ban.

But Willis "completely rejects" that she is implicitly supporting a ban on gay conversion therapy by not supporting it.

"We have had robust debate about this subject and I welcome that debate continuing," she said.

Both Stanford and Bishop, meanwhile, say they're confident of throwing their support behind the Bill, but just want it tidied up.

Judith Collins has historically received a warm reception at rainbow events like the Big Gay Out, but its organisers are also reconsidering their invite to National and its leader, telling Newshub: "We strongly denounce the position the National Party has taken."

"Conversion practices couldn't be further from the safety that the event promotes and provides," it said.

But Collins is holding the line, saying: "I will not support parents being criminalised for trying to be parents." 

National argues it opposes conversion therapy but the Bill could criminalise parents who prevent their children taking puberty-blocking medication.

"I can remember being 12 and I can remember some of the ideas I had then, and I think it is really important that parents must be backed to be parents," Collins said.

David Seymour may be next in line to have the welcome mat whipped away. ACT supported the first reading of the ban but it could end there.

"It's pretty difficult to see ACT supporting it given what we know now, but we're open to listening at select committee," he said.

This has become a real splinter within the National Party, causing serious upset and division just as the party decreed a new era of unity.