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Yet another step has been taken to ensure that conversion therapy is not taken seriously as Canada introduces legislation that will ban the discredited practice.

The bill, entitled “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)” is named similarly to the Bill S-202 that was tabled by Senator Serge Joyal in December. Bill S-202 makes it illegal for conversion therapy practitioners to advertise their services. It also prevents them from profiting from conversion therapy when it is administered to someone under the age of 18. Currently, it is not clear if the bill being introduced also has the same content as Bill S-202.

Ending conversion therapy was part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises, with the Liberal Party’s 2019 platform describing it as a “scientifically discredited practice that targets vulnerable LGBTQ2 Canadians in an attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Even before the introduction of this bill, parts of Canada have already banned conversion therapy. Ontario and Manitoba banned it in 2015, while Prince Edward Island banned it in 2019. Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary have banned it as well. In Nova Scotia, youth under the age of 16 can not be provided the therapy, although teens between the age of 16 and 18 can consent.

In the United States, 19 states have already banned conversion therapy for minors. Utah was the latest to do so back in January. The other states are New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Maine. States considering the ban include Virginia, Texas, and Kentucky.

Conversion therapy is condemned by the Australian Psychological Society, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the American Psychiatric Association, and the World Psychiatric Association. An official policy statement by the Canadian Psychological Association also expresses their opposition to “any therapy with the goal of repairing or converting an individual’s sexual orientation, regardless of age.”

As the son of a baptist pastor who has been forced to go through it at age 17-18 by my parents, I can’t express enough how this news warms my heart. Conversion therapy is unacceptable, should not be tolerated by our society and should definitely be criminal. It fucks you up more than it helps you. Live and let live! Have anyone else here been through forced conversion therapy?

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