A Landmark Win for the Rainbow Community

February 7, 2023

A Post-press conference celebration after announcing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act

OutLine Aotearoa has helped to shape two landmark rainbow rights laws that will make a huge difference for rainbow communities throughout Aotearoa.

The Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act was announced at a high-profile press conference at the OutLine offices by Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi. The law bans any practices or treatments that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This ban recognises the long-lasting harm these practices cause to people who experience them and the critical importance of acceptance for Rainbow people’s wellbeing. 

Making submissions to a select committee is the point in the law-making process when both organisations and individuals can share their thoughts and experiences directly with the politicians who make our laws. Building on the work of long-time advocates, OutLine provided valuable written and verbal submissions on this law.

More importantly, we held a community submission writing workshop to help other rainbow people to make their voices heard in this process. The workshop helped to guide rainbow people through the submission process, and provided peer support for those who needed it. Personal submissions can be emotionally taxing, especially when they relate to a person’s identity or past traumas. OutLine was able to provide both practical and mental health support to help our rainbow communities throughout the process.

OutLine Aotearoa representatives making submissions to the Select Committee meeting via Zoom

“The workshop really gave me the confidence to make a submission,” says one attendee. “I’m totally new to the whole select committee process, so I had no idea what to expect. The workshop gave me plenty of practical tips, and it was great to learn in a safe and supportive space full of other queer folx.”

OutLine is continuing to advocate for rainbow people through our work on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Act. This law will allow trans, non-binary, takatāpui and intersex people to update the gender recorded on their birth certificates through a self-identification process, and allow people to record non-binary genders on their birth certificates for the first time.

OutLine made submissions on both the BDMRR and its proposed regulations, which are due to come into effect in mid-2023. We also held a workshop to help our communities understand the complex proposed regulations and make their own submissions. We will continue to advocate for better outcomes for our trans, non-binary, takatāpui and intersex communities once the final regulations are announced and come into effect this year. 

The media conference announcing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act was announced was held at the offices of Outline Aotearoa

Both law changes attracted considerable debate, which was often difficult for many members of Aotearoa’s rainbow communities. OutLine offered support throughout the legislative process through our phoneline, chat, counselling and peer support services. 

OutLine will continue to work with our rainbow communities to ensure the two new laws are working as they should, and to advocate for further change as needed. This is vital work that is enabled by funding from our generous donors, who also enable us to continue delivering our rainbow mental health support services directly to rainbow people, their friends and whānau throughout Aotearoa.

Words and images supplied by OutLine Aotearoa

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