Judith Collins hits back at Big Gay Out organisers after revelations National might be disinvited due to conversion therapy vote

Judith Collins is hitting back at the organisers of Auckland's pride festival Big Gay Out after they revealed her and her MPs might not be invited to next year's event after National voted against a ban on conversion therapy.

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

"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."

On Wednesday, Collins said while she's happy to take part in pride events, they lost a lot of her support when uniformed police and corrections officers were banned. 

"I mean the police aren't invited now are they or corrections. I am very happy to be part of the Big Gay Out and pride parades but I am also understanding that a small group want to be very negative about things," she told The AM Show.  

"When they banned corrections and police from being able to march in their uniforms I have to say... they sort of lost a lot of support from me because that was nasty and it was not the sort of gay pride parade or Big Gay Out that I would have hoped for and used to take part in." 

Auckland Pride Parade banned police officers from marching in uniforms in 2018 after community feedback. Police officers not in uniforms are still welcome to attend. 

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

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

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

Both Stanford and Bishop 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 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.

Nationals says it opposes conversion therapy because they claim the current bill could criminalise parents who prevent their children from taking puberty-blocking medications. 

National was the only party to oppose the bill at its first reading. While ACT leader David Seymour has raised concerns about aspects of the Bill, his party voted in favour of it in the hopes it will be improved.