Kim Jong-un would be proud of it. A bill which establishes a State-ordained ideology, empowers activists to enforce the ideology, and threatens anyone who dares to resist with loss of livelihood and imprisonment. All of it introduced with classic doublespeak from the Party – its objective, we are told, is to promote respectful and open discussion.
But we are not in North Korea. We are in New Zealand, a land with with one of the longest traditions of democratically elected parliaments in the world. And yet astonishingly, it is also now the land of a bill whose pedigree is pure police state. The Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill.
The CPP Bill does something unique in New Zealand history. It establishes a State-ordained ideology of human sexuality and gender. And then it threatens to criminalise and imprison anyone who pushes back against it. And just for good measure it empowers anyone who feels they have been a victim of breaches of the approved ideology to seek civil damages from offenders.
Ironically, the strongest advocates of this Bill have for years falsely accused those who affirm a Judeo-Christian worldview of sexuality and gender of trying to “impose their views” on others. And yet the moment these advocates have achieved unbridled power in our current one-party Government, they are targeting for prison anyone who actively disagrees with their ideology. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Indeed there are many things breathtaking about the CPP Bill. How about its arrogance in assuming that Kiwi parents need to be bullied and intimidated by the threat of criminal sanctions so that they will have “open and respectful discussions” on sexuality and gender with their children. What an astonishing insult. Or what about its outlandish claim on our credulity in its pretense that threats of court proceedings, imprisonment or fines, will actually foster open discussion. Really? Disingenuous goes nowhere near describing those expecting us to believe this stuff.
But perhaps the most breathtakingly egregious aspect of this Bill is that whilst it bullies and threatens parents, it facilitates and empowers activist ideologues. Take steps to actively discourage your teenage son or daughter from gender transition and you risk serious jail time. But the ideologue encouraging them to “explore” their gender identity, helping them to “express” themselves, and actively supporting them in transition, is given a free pass. Apparently that is not a a conversion practice.* This Bill is a one way street.
The Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill is about empowering by brute legal force the deluded ideology of gender fluidity. It is an ideology which masquerades as compassion. But in reality it will deliver many of our vulnerable young people to a dangerous destination of confusion, doubt and anxiety about who they really are. A destination which will lead many of them to the very self-harm its advocates claim to be concerned about.
As for the rest of us – we will wake up wondering how we came to be living in North Korea.