July 10, 2019 | Sex & Society

Canada considering ban on conversion therapy

Gay Conversion Therapy
Canada is taking the preliminary steps to end gay conversion therapy in the country.
Last month, the Canadian government advised provincial and territorial leaders it was looking into reforming the Criminal Code to “prevent, punish and deter” the practice.
“Conversion therapy is a cruel exercise that can lead to life-long trauma. It has no scientific basis,” the government wrote in a letter. “The federal government is committed to doing everything within its jurisdiction to combat conversion therapy.”
“There is a movement across Canada to restrict or condemn practices that seek to change sexual orientation. Addressing the availability of conversion therapy is a complex issue,” the letter added. “No one jurisdiction can end this dangerous practice alone.”
The letters were signed by Justice Minister David Lametti, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, and Randy Boissonnault, a Liberal MP from Edmonton Centre and special advisor to the prime minister on LGBT Issues.
Currently such "therapy" is banned in Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Prince Edward Island passed a motion to ban the practice, but the motion has no legal standing. And British Columbia has introduced legislation to prohibit it.
And just this week, a town in conservative Alberta, St. Albert, passed a motion to ban the practice. City staff are now amending bylaws to reflect the ban.
“Scientific research does not support the efficacy of conversion or reparative therapy," the Canadian Psychological Association has stated. "Conversion or reparative therapy can result in negative outcomes such as distress, anxiety, depression, negative self-image, a feeling of personal failure, difficulty sustaining relationships, and sexual dysfunction.”
"There’s obviously some work that has been done, which is great, but more that needs to be done, as well on a municipal level," a Justice Department rep explained. “It may be as simple as banning licenses, business licenses at a municipal level. There’s definitely more that can be done at all levels.”
Sadly, with an election coming up in a few months, this may amount to nothing. It certainly won't be a priority for a possible Conservative government.

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