New Zealand's parliament has passed legislation that bans practices intended to forcibly change a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, known as conversion therapy.
The bill, which was introduced by the government last year, passed near-unanimously with 112 votes in favour and 8 votes opposed.
The legislation also lays out what is not a conversion practice and it protects the right to express opinions, beliefs, religious beliefs or principles which are not intended to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Under the legislation, it will be an offence to perform conversion practices on people under 18, or on someone with impaired decision-making capacity. Such offences would be subject to up to 3 years' in prison.
It will also be an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone, irrespective of age, where the practices have caused serious harm, and offenders can be subject to up to 5 years imprisonment.
Last year, an United Nations rapporteur urged to ban 'chilling' conversion therapy, and a lot of countries, regions and cities already banned conversion therapy, but it should be banned around the world.
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