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Motions on gay conversion therapy

Here are the three motions on gay conversion therapy passed at New Zealand diocesan synods in 2018.

Dioceses of Dunedin, Wellington and Waikato & Taranaki  |  25 Oct 2018

Diocese of Dunedin

Mover: Fred McElrea       Seconder: Rev Canon Michael Wallace

That this synod rejects the practice of “conversion therapy” for LGBTQIA people, and considers that the Anglican Church should not be carrying out or promoting any “ministry” or ‘therapy” that leads to the expectation that a person’s basic sexual orientation can or should be changed.

Further, it urges Anglicans throughout this country to follow the lead of the UK Government and support a ban on its use in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki

Mover: The Ven Malcom French        Seconder: The Ven Val Riches

Noting the desire in the recommendations accompanying Motion 30 to General Synod Te Hinota Whanui in 2014 “ make further response pastorally and prayerfully to LGBT people”

And noting that in July 2017 The Church of England passed a motion condemning the harmful practice of gay conversion therapy,

And noting that in July 2018 the British government began moving towards a ban on gay conversion therapy in Great Britain,

We move that this Synod call on the New Zealand parliament to pass legislation banning the harmful practice of gay conversion therapy

Diocese of Wellington

Mover: Neill Ballantyne      Seconder: The Ven Stephen King

NOTING the desire in the recommendations accompanying Motion 30 to General Synod Te Hinota Whanui in 2014: “…to make further response pastorally and prayerfully to LGBT people in [their] faith communities”

AND, noting the current public concern in Aotearoa-New Zealand about the pastoral practice known as ‘gay conversion therapy’, including the call for it to be outlawed by Parliament,

AND, noting that in July 2017 The Church of England passed a motion condemning said practice,

WHILE recognising the challenging nature of conversations around human sexuality in a community that has different perspectives,

AND also remembering that regardless of our differences we are called to responsible pastoral care of each other in the Body of Christ,

THAT this Synod:

  1. Call upon the Church to be sensitive to, and to listen to, contemporary expressions of gender identity and sexual orientation; and
  2. Acknowledge differing and strongly-held perspectives on the matter, and therefore call upon the Church to make room for careful and honest conversation that is safe for all participants; and
  3. Stand against any denigration of the character or personhood of those who hold a differing perspective on matters of human sexuality; and
  4. Condemn any pastoral practice which is coercive and/or disempowering of the recipient; and
  5. Call on all church leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with each other and government on ways of protecting vulnerable minorities, especially those who identify as gender and sexual minorities, from these harmful practices; and
  6. Remind all ministers of the obligations incumbent on them, and the principles to be upheld, when offering pastoral care, as outlined in the Diocesan Codes of Conduct and Ethics, especially that,

- Every person, being created in God’s image, has infinite worth and unique value, irrespective of origin, race, ethnicity, gender, age, belief, social or economic status, sexual orientation, marital status, contribution to society or present psychological, physical or spiritual state;

- All ministry, regardless of its form, should seek to bring glory to God, and further the best interests of those who receive it;

- Every person may expect to be supported in the development of their God-given potential, while recognising the same expectation in others;

- Every person, whether or not presently a member of the Church, may expect to receive objective and disciplined knowledge and skill, to enable that person to grow in the Christian faith; (Code of Ethics, (2) (a)-(d))

- Ministers must respect the ethnic and cultural background, gender, class and sexual orientation of those to whom they minister;

- Ministers should question practices in the church community that appear to be harmful or abusive (Code of Conduct, (3) (vi) (e), (g)).