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July 30, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Queer Coverage: Local, National, and International LGBTQIA+ News

Response to Conversion Therapy Ban Petition Has “Exceeded Expectations”

A petition calling for the banning of Gay Conversion Therapy in New Zealand has reached roughly 11,500 signatures.
The Young Labour and Young Greens organisations launched the petition on Thursday 19 July, and reached 10,000 signatures just four days after.
The petitioners are hoping to receive 20,000 to 25,000 signatures. Young Greens Co-Convener, Max Tweedie, is confident they will reach that goal.
Tweedie said the response had exceeded expectations. Following recent media awareness of the issue, the youth wings introduced the petition to pressure Parliament to ban the “incredibly harmful” practice.
“It harms their mental health… it just ends up causing anxiety, depression, and in the worst cases, suicide,” said Tweedie.
“We started this petition to get rid of it, to ban it. And we hope we can achieve that.”
The United Kingdom has also made moves to ban Conversion Therapy, with Prime Minister Theresa May describing the practice as abhorrent. It is illegal in several states and territories of the US and Canada.
The New Zealand Human Rights Commision has supported the call to ban Conversion Therapy.

WHO: Being Trans Not a Mental Health Condition

For the first time, the World Health Organisation will remove being trans (“gender incongruity”) from their mental health chapter. Instead, it will be placed in the “conditions related to sexual health” chapter.
The WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) supports the facilitation of cross-border health research and practice by providing a standardised framework for the identification, description, and discussion of health issues.

A large number of revisions have been made, notably the movement of “gender incongruity” from the mental health component of the document, to the sexual health component.

The WHO hopes that shifting the placement of the health issue will reduce the stigma within medical and wider communities, in hopes of supplying greater access and quality of treatment for trans people in public health systems. In a video on their official Youtube Channel, the WHO explained that the decision was made on a comprehensive review of available scientific evidence.
In a press release dated 18 June, Transgender Europe (TGEU) welcomed the revision, hoping it would increase access to gender-affirming treatment, “while also ending a long history of so-called ‘conversion therapies’, forced medicalization, forced hospitalization, and forced sterilization”.
ICD-11 has been developed over ten years and based upon around 10,000 proposed revisions. It will be proposed for adoption at the World Health Assembly in 2019, and come into effect in 2022.

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