Last week, the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill passed. The Parish Council submitted on this bill, and allowed me to use the oral submission time to talk about my lived experience of Conversion practices. Our submission obviously had an impact, as one of the MPs mentioned part of my story in her speech on the second reading! After listening to dozens of people share about the harm we experienced, it shocks me that two MPs who heard directly from us were among the handful who voted against the bill.

Submissions on this bill shattered previous records, mainly because of churches mobilising their members to voice opposition. Many submitters were Christians, who wanted a blanket exemption for church and Christian practices. They have succeeded in the past, getting religious exemptions in our human rights, civil union and marriage laws. This time though, they didn’t get what they wanted. Instead, the committee adopted one of our recommendations; to clarify that conversion practices can take the form of prayer.

Some of the same churches are mobilising again, this time getting behind the protest at parliament. Destiny has made the news, but City Impact and other large churches have been encouraging their members to join. Their involvement has its roots in dominion theology and white Christian supremacy. One of the readings this week started El and I thinking about the seeds of Christian supremacist thinking which have been enshrined in the Bible.

Recent events have been unsettling for many; sometimes we yearn for clarity. Mountain tops can be places of spiritual renewal, or high places from which to contemplate domination. On Transfiguration Sunday we will be reflecting on experiences which transform people and communities. We look forward to connecting with you.

Ngā mihi


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